Prescription Drug Abuse Starts in YOUR Medicine Cabinet
If you’re prescribed a medication with abuse or overdose potential – including painkillers, anti-anxiety pills, stimulants and sleep aids – safeguarding and proper disposal of your medication rests with you. The drug your doctor prescribed for your specific condition may pose extreme danger in the wrong hands. Accidental poisoning and life-threatening side effects are frightening possibilities, as is the likelihood of non-prescribed medication being abused and leading to addiction.
Fortunately, a few common-sense steps can be taken to mitigate these dangers. Follow these steps for all your medication:
- Keep track and careful inventory of all medications in your home. Lock them in one safe place and count them regularly.
- Look for signs of abuse and addiction, such as changes in disposition and in sleep patterns, slurred speech, or restlessness.
- Dispose of unused medication safely and immediately. Many pharmacies will help with medication disposal, and Project Medicine Drop boxes can be found at most police departments. As soon as your doctor tells you to stop taking a prescription drug, get it out of your home to protect your loved ones.
The best way to ensure prescription medications are not abused is to limit access to them. Removing unused medications from the home protects you, your family and anyone entering your home from serious harmful consequences.
For more information about prescription drug abuse, check out an article with video on the subject.