A new UNITE initiative to raise awareness about the need to properly secure over-the-counter and prescription medications will be launched by all 30 UNITE Coalitions in January.

“The majority of youth who experiment with prescription drugs for the first time obtain these drugs from family members or friend’s family members without consent, making them an ‘accidental dealer’,” said Karen Kelly, director of Operation UNITE. “In southern and eastern Kentucky the average age of first-time drug use is age 11, so this is a particularly critical issue.”

The Accidental Dealer Community Campaign will be implemented from January through March and specifically target parents, grandparents and other caregivers.

“We are in dire need of volunteers to help spread the word about the dangers of being an accidental dealer,” Kelly said. “Volunteers are needed to assist with very specific tasks leading up to a community-wide awareness event.”

During the one-hour kick-off meeting UNITE representatives will explain the various components of the campaign, provide all materials needed to carry it out, and assist the local coalition begin the organizational process.

To see when your county’s community meeting will be held visit the Accidental Dealer webpage.