Medication lockboxes and gunlocks are available now to community members at Richard Young Hospital free of charge. Community members can get a lockbox or gun lock by calling Richard Young Hospital at 308-865-2000.
The lockboxes and gunlocks come from the Buffalo County Community Partners’ Suicide Prevention Coalition in partnership with the Opioid Taskforce, Nebraska Veteran’s Affairs, Richard Young Hospital and funded by the Nebraska State Suicide Prevention Coalition.
Reducing access to lethal means leads to lower risk factors for suicide. Medicines that sit in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
One in 3 Buffalo County High School students that reported taking a medication not prescribed to them, say they took it from someone without their knowledge, according to the 2018 Nebraska Risk and Protective Factor Student Survey. Reducing access to prescriptions and firearms will help to saves lives.
The steel lockboxes contain information about crisis response numbers for the Buffalo County area and the Suicide Prevention Hotline number. There are instructions on how to use the lockbox and gunlocks included.
Anyone is eligible for the lockboxes and locks and are free of charge. The medication lockboxes were funded by the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Mini Grant funds and Region 3 Block Grant funds. Gunlocks were provided by the Nebraska Veteran’s Affairs.