Back Trainings


We offer a broad range of trainings that support the long-term behavioral health and wellbeing of all New Mexicans. Together we can make things better.
Back Research & Publications

Research & Publications

Back Advocacy


Back About CHI-PHI


As New Mexico's public health institute we believe in – and deeply value – the power of community in creating wellbeing, resilience, diversity, inclusivity and equity. About CHI-PHI
Back Partner with us

Partner with us

Home » Uncategorized » YSAPC aids seniors to secure medications

YSAPC aids seniors to secure medications


Thursday, May 31, 2018; Silver City, NM:  Grant County is a little bit safer than it was last week thanks to the effort of area seniors who took a pledge to better secure their prescription medications. To aid in their endeavor, the seniors received a complimentary medication lock box from the Youth Substance Abuse Coalition (YSAPC).

Over 70 seniors from Hidalgo Medical Services’ Santa Clara and Silver City Senior Centers took the YSAPC pledge to keep their medications in secure lock boxes.

YSAPC Coordinator, A.J. Sandoval said, “We are tasked with informing the community of the dangers of unsecured medications. Prescription drugs can fall into the wrong hands, especially those of children and youth.”

Two-thirds of teens who misused pain relievers in the past year say that they got them from family and friends, including their home’s medicine cabinets, making it important to safeguard medicine in the home, according to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Safe storage and disposal of medications diminish opportunities for easy access.

“Kids are home alone for the summer, or visiting relatives,” Sandoval said, “and might have access to medications they usually don’t. It’s important to secure medications to protect children and youth from accidental poisonings, or worse, unintentional overdoses.”

In 2017, New Mexico Poison Control received 260 calls from Grant County. Exactly 50% of those calls were regarding children and youth under the age of 20 years old.

Also, Grant County ranks fifth of 33 counties in the state for opioid overdose related emergency room visits, at a rate of 101.5 per 100,000 population. By comparison, the New Mexico average rate for opioid overdose ER visits is 66.9.  Also, a majority of overdose deaths in Grant County involved prescription drugs, according to the New Mexico Substance Abuse Epidemiology Profile.

“People have pills prescribed from surgeries or dental procedures,” said Sandoval, “it’s important to dispose of unused medication as soon as possible to keep our community safe from misuse and abuse.” There are two locations in Grant County to safely dispose of prescription and over the counter mediations at no cost: Bayard, 801 Central Ave., and Silver City, 1106 N. Pope St.

YSAPC Prevention Clerk, Diana Gordillo said, “We heard stories from the seniors about having medications in drawers or on the kitchen counter, and many were expecting visits from their grandchildren in the coming weeks. Most of the seniors were grateful for the lock boxes for added security and peace of mind for their family’s safety.”

“One man told us how he kept his medications in an ice chest for easy carrying and because it offered some added security. We were able to get him a large lock box that would fit all his medications,” reported Sandoval.

Other seniors reported they would use the lock boxes while traveling to visit relatives, so their medications were safe from being accessed or tampered with by children.

Sandoval added, “We will follow up periodically with everyone that took the pledge to assure the lock boxes are in use.”

In the coming months, YSAPC will distribute lock boxes at the Hidalgo Medical Services’ Cliff/Gila and Mimbres Senior Centers. Sandoval said, “Hidalgo Medical Services has been a great partner and supporter of our efforts to promote safe storage and disposal of medications.”

Gordillo added, “We still have a few lock boxes available, so people can call our office to make an appointment to take the pledge to keep their prescriptions secure.”

YSAPC is a program of the Southwest Center for Health Innovation and funded by the New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention.

For more information on YSAPC contact (575) 597-0025 or email: