Five Things You Can Do During National Safety Month to Curb Prescription Painkiller Abuse

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June is National Safety Month, an excellent time to learn more about safety issues such as prescription painkiller abuse. According to the National Health Information Center, prescription painkiller overdoses are a growing problem in the United States, especially among women. About 18 women die every day from a prescription painkiller overdose— more than four times higher than in 1999.

  1. Watch the California State Board of Pharmacy’s video  which warns of the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
  2. Check the expiration date on your medicines.
  3. Keep track of your medications, safely dispose of unwanted medications.
  4. Don’t purchase or use any controlled prescription drugs obtained from illegal websites. They could be counterfeit or may not contain the correct ingredients. They may even be toxic.
  5. Get help if you or someone you love is abusing prescription pain medications.

Visit these sites for more information:

California State Board of Pharmacy
Information on prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment for teens, students, parents and educators.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Comprehensive information, resources and tips from experts and other parents; opportunities to connect and share experiences with other families.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Provides information, statistics and articles on improving the quality and availability of drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

SAMHSA’s National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI) 1-877-SAMHSA7
Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: A resource for federal government agency publications dealing with alcohol and drug use prevention and addiction treatment.

SAMHSA’s Center on Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT)
1-800-662-HELP
Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Toll-free treatment referral hotline provides callers with information and listings of treatment and recovery services for alcohol and drug problems.

Cemetery and Funeral Bureau Holds Roundtable Discussion on Impact of Drought on Cemeteries

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The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cemetery and Funeral Bureau on Wednesday hosted a roundtable discussion to discuss the impact of the California drought on cemeteries and to brainstorm ideas for coping with water use reductions.

“Everyone needs to do their part to save water during the drought,” said Lisa Moore, Chief of the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau. “We want to help our licensed cemeteries achieve a balance between their responsibilities to reduce water use while being sensitive to families who have loved ones interred in those cemeteries.”

The Bureau invited all licensed cemeteries to participate in the roundtable and addressed issues facing cemeteries in the current drought. In addition to discussing the issues cemeteries face because of the drought, solutions and alternatives were explored to help cemeteries adapt. Some of the topics discussed in the meeting were:

  • Best practices at cemeteries for effectively implementing water restrictions
  • Water efficiency measures currently in use by cemeteries
  • Conformance with State/Local watering restrictions
  • Potential impacts on business
  • Informing consumers about water restrictions

The Bureau will solicit additional input through the end of this month and then create a consumer information fact sheet to educate consumers about the California drought and the water restrictions under which cemeteries must operate. That fact sheet will be available on the Bureau’s web site.

By reducing their water use, cemeteries will help achieve the reductions called for in Governor Brown’s Executive Order.

The Cemetery and Funeral Bureau licenses and regulates cemeteries, with the exception of cemeteries operated by religious organizations, cities, counties, cemetery districts, the military and Native American tribal organizations.

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The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California Consumers. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210 or www.dca.ca.gov.

Have Your Vehicle Ready for Rising Temperatures

Driving_blogHot weather can be rough on cars. Higher temperatures break down fluids and lubricants more quickly, which leads to more wear and tear on an engine.

Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your car or truck (see your owner’s manual) and using these precautionary tips from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) should have you roadway-ready as temperatures climb.

  • Before taking any road trips, consider a pre-trip inspection by a licensed auto repair facility. Have any recommended repairs done before you leave.
  • Test the air conditioning. Turn it on and let it run for a few minutes. Inspect the belts and hoses. You may want to have a service professional inspect the entire system.
  • Inspect the battery and battery cables for corrosion, cracks, and dirt. Hot weather can shorten a battery’s life, so have it tested if it is near the end of its warranty. Replace the battery if necessary.
  • Change the engine oil and filter according to the manufacturer’s service intervals and specifications. Your licensed service technician should also check the coolant, brake, automatic transmission, windshield wiper, and steering fluids.
  • Have a licensed brake adjuster inspect your brake pads and linings for wear according to the manufacturer’s service intervals and specifications.
  • Make sure all tires, including the spare, are properly inflated. Look for uneven or excessive tread wear. Have your tires rotated based on the manufacturer specifications.
  • Never leave for a trip with your car’s check-engine light or malfunction indicator light on. Have the problem diagnosed by a qualified technician and make necessary repairs before you leave.
  • Test your car’s interior and exterior lights, including turn signals and high beams, to make sure they work. Clean the lenses to get maximum visibility.
  • Change your car’s air filters according to the manufacturer’s specifications—a dirty air filter lowers gas mileage and limits engine performance.
  • Have the radiator and hoses checked for leaks and wear. Have the cooling system flushed and refilled according to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. This service should include a check of the pressure cap.

Remember: You can verify the license status of a repair dealer or other service specialist and check for possible disciplinary actions by visiting the Bureau of Automotive Repair website, www.autorepair.ca.gov. Click on “Verify a License.” Or, call (800) 952-5210 for the same information. For the Top 5 Reasons to Read Your Owner’s Manual or to find a registered repair shop in your area, visit the BAR website.