Prescription Drugs | Maine State Police
From Shannon Moss’ office.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 31, 2022
CONTACT PIO SHANNON MOSS
September is Home Safety Awareness Month
A new law that took effect August 8, 2022 will help Mainers safely secure their prescription drugs and firearms, as well as other dangerous weapons. The legislation that passed unanimously, sponsored by Sen. Susan Deschambault, D-Biddeford, and co-sponsored by Rep. Richard Pickett, (R) Dixfield establishes the Safe Homes program. It will educate people about the importance of safe storage of prescription drugs and weapons. It will also make storage devices more affordable.
Maine has the second highest gun death rate in New England. In 2020, more than 85% of firearm deaths were suicides. That year, 154 Mainers were killed by firearms, 132 of whom committed suicide.
In 2021, there were more than 8,000 overdoses in Maine. 636 were drug-related deaths, a 20% increase over the number of Mainers who died from overdoses in 2020.
“During my last term as a senator, I wanted to take action to help make Mainers’ homes safer.” Said Senator Deschambault. “We need to educate Mainers on the importance of safely storing their prescription drugs and weapons inside their homes. We also need to make storage devices more affordable. This law will make Maine homes and families safer.
“The knowledge and tools necessary to store and handle personal weapons and prescription drugs are a matter of safety for the individual and the community as a whole, Rep. Pickett said. “As a member of the forces of the order for over 40 years, I have seen many instances where the mishandling of weapons and/or prescription drugs has caused great tragedy to so many.”
Safe gun storage can reduce accidental gun-related deaths and keep guns out of reach of people who might plan to hurt themselves. Safe storage of prescription medications can help reduce accidental or misuse of medications.
“The safety of our friends and family is of the utmost importance to all of us and we believe that a program like ‘Safe Homes’ can provide a comprehensive educational space to make our loved ones safer from prescription drugs. and dangerous weapons,” the Department said. of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Sauschuck.
Last year, the Legislature made storage devices more affordable by creating a sales tax exemption for devices specifically designed to secure firearms. The Safe Homes program will provide grants for the purchase of safety devices for the safe storage of prescription drugs and weapons, where required.
Governor Janet Mills also signed a proclamation declaring September Home Safety Awareness Month as a way to raise awareness of the importance of home safety and the existence of the program.
For more information on the Safe Homes program, please visit the Department of Public Safety’s Safe Homes website.