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  • Spring Break Driving on Oregon Roads
    March 25 2012

    Spring break for Oregon schools begins this week which means more people on the roads traveling for vacations, skiing, or trips to the beach.  It isn’t just families out on the road this time of year; there are a a number of youthful drivers out on day trips with their friends, shopping, or returning home late at night after get parties.  Traffic will be heavier and riskier, especially if texting, drugs, or alcohol are involved.  Historically, motor vehicle collisons for young drivers increase during this week.

    The Oregon department of Transportation (ODOT) wants to remind youthful drivers that even though they are on vacation, it is important to abide by the rules of road which include no texting, no driving while on the phone, and no drinking and driving.  In Oregon, it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use a cell phone while driving.  It is also illegal for anyone to text while driving. 

    Oregon’s Minor in Possession law prohibits minors from possessing or consuming alcohol.  If caught violating this law, minors can lose their license for a year – even if they don’t have one yet and even if they weren’t driving.

    “Impaired or distracted driving can lead to tragic consequences,” according to Oregon Department of Transportation Youth Safety Program Manager Sue Riehl.

    “We lose young people every year to impaired driving, and that’s terrible,” Riehl said.  “Take a moment to imagine the pain that families and loved ones feel when a young person dies due to impaired or distracted driving.”
    In the past, there have been a number of accidents with youthful drivers during spring break week.  Play it safe and abide by the rules of the road. 

  • FDA Considers Expanding Definition of Nonprescription Drugs
    March 23 2012

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering expanding the definition of nonprescription drugs to make them more available to consumers.  It is attempting to make drugs for common conditions available as over the counter (OTC) products as research has shown that as many as 20 percent of patients with prescriptions do not get them filled.

    “OTC drugs have had great success in providing consumers with excellent self-care options. But our concept of self-care is limited to conditions that can be self-diagnosed and self-treated based on the information in the drug facts box, combined with common knowledge,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. 

    “What we are asking is, should there be more flexibility in the concept of nonprescription drugs? Can we broaden the assistance a consumers gets and increase the types of medicines that might be available over-the-counter,” she added.

    In order to obtain the OTC drug, a patient would no longer need to see a physician to obtain a prescription but might need to meet with a pharmacist or obtain a diagnostic test.  Potentially, for some drugs the patient might need to see a physician for the original prescription but obtain re-fills without further consultations.

    The FDA is requesting input from consumers, pharmacists and members of the health care community.

  • St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Safety Reminder
    March 16 2012

    The Oregon State Police (OSP) have issued a reminder to designate a sober driver before going out to celebrate the coming St. Patrick’s Day this weekend.  Oregon law enforcement are urging everyone to get home safely after the celebration and don’t take the chance of being pulled over for drunk driving. 

    “Unfortunately, one of the most widely celebrated days of the year all too often shares the distinction of being associated with a sadder reality—- too many people are driving drunk and endangering themselves and others on the road,” said OSP Sergeant Greg Plummer, DUII/SFST Program Coordinator. “Don’t risk hurting or killing yourself or someone else. Even if you’ve had just a few drinks, don’t kid yourself into thinking you can be lucky enough to get home.”

    Last year, OSP troopers reported 16 DUII arrests statewide between 12 noon, March 17, and 4:00 a.m., March 18. The Oregon State Police Springfield Area Command office reported the highest number (5) during the sixteen hour period.

    Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, ODOT and the Oregon Health Authority’s Addictions and Mental Health Division recommend the following precautions to help everyone enjoy a safe St. Patrick’s Day:

    -  Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin and designate a sober driver.
    -  If you decide to drink once you’re out, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
    - If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement by calling 9-1-1 or 1-800-24-DRUNK.
    - If you are hosting a party, serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
    - And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to   get to where they are going safely.

    We urge you to celebrate sensibly and don’t take the risk of harming yourself or others in a traffic accident.

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