Ensure Prescriptions Are Used Safely

Three simple steps will help reduce access and opportunity for prescription medications to get into the wrong hands.

  1. Drop Them Off

    Find a prescription drug take-back center or dispose of unwanted prescription medications appropriately at home. The American Medicine Chest Challenge compiled a directory of permanent prescription collection sites nationwide here. If a drug take-back site isn’t available, you can mix unwanted prescription medications with coffee grounds or kitty litter and put them in the trash. They’re less recognizable, and it’s better than flushing them down the toilet, which can contaminate the environment. Tips on safe disposal are available on the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’ Medicine Abuse Project website.

  1. Don’t Share

    Doctors prescribe medicines based on an individual’s need and physical condition. Only take medicines that are prescribed specifically for you, and don’t offer your prescription medications to others.

  1. Securely Store

    Safeguard the prescriptions in your home by monitoring access, storing them securely just as you would valuables or cash, and disposing of them once they’re expired and no longer needed to reduce the chances of misuse and abuse. It’s also helpful to learn the signs and symptoms of medicine abuse. For additional information, see Three Steps to Safeguard Your Home and Know the Signs and Symptoms of Medicine Abuse on the Medicine Abuse Project website.

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