More than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
More than 70% of those who illegally use prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or family, including surreptitiously raiding the home medicine cabinet.
Despite the large amount of illegal prescription drug use that begins in the home, only 19% of parents are concerned about the misuse of narcotic pain medications in their own families.
Types of Prescription Drugs that are Abused
Opioids and narcotic pain medications are the most commonly abused prescription drugs. When taken with other prescription medications like benzodiazepines (i.e. Valium) and muscle relaxers (i.e. Soma), they can deliver a cocaine-like high.
Properly storing and disposing these and all other medications can help reduce the risk of abuse and help prevent the national epidemic of addiction, overdose and death from prescription drugs by not letting them fall into the wrong hands. You can drop off prescription medication for safe disposal 24 hours a day at either Advance ER facility.
6 Simple Tips for Prescription Drug Safety at Home
Practicing basic drug safety in your home can help ensure your family remains safe from potential prescription medication abuse and eliminates opportunities for misuse.
1. Keep Drugs Out of Reach:Be sure to store your medications in a locked area out of children’s reach. Ask your pharmacist if they can provide medication bottles with child-resistant caps.
2. Put Additive Drugs in a Separate, More Secure Location:Don’t store narcotics or potentially addictive drugs in a medicine cabinet. If that is the only option, add a lock to the cabinet and hide the key.
3. Don’t Save Medications for “Next Time”:Once your condition has been treated and your prescription regimen is complete, properly dispose of the drugs. Never keep extra medication for potential use in the future.
4. Count Your Medications:Keep a list of the medications in your home, especially those prone to abuse. Periodically count the medications remaining in the container, and make sure that it’s the correct amount according to the prescribed dosage.
5. Never Share Your Medication:The specific drug and dosage was selected specifically for the person it was prescribed for and could lead to dangerous drug interactions and serious side effects if used by someone else.
6. Properly Dispose of Medications:Follow disposal instructions provided, or drop off unused and unwanted medications at Advance ER.
By following these simple steps, you can help protect your family and friends against the nation’s costly problem of prescription-drug fraud and abuse.