Many people struggle with prescription drug addiction. We can all help keep homes, workplaces and communities safer by handling commonly abused drugs responsibly.
The three easy steps below — Take, Secure, Dispose — are a good place to start. If you have questions about prescription use or abuse, don't hesitate to ask your pharmacist.
Step 1: Take exactly as directed.
You should always follow your health care provider's instructions. If you change how you take opioids and other commonly abused drugs without talking to your provider, you increase the chances of serious problems including misuse, addiction and overdose.
Talk to your provider right away if you start taking prescription painkillers when you don't feel pain or if you're worried about opioid dependence.
Our pharmacists have a legal responsibility to ensure that the prescriptions they fill have been issued for a legitimate medical purpose. Because of this, they may question the prescribing of drugs, doses and combinations as well as other factors.
Use prescription painkillers for the shortest period of time and at the lowest dose needed. Talk to your health care provider if the dose isn't effective.
Step 2: Store securely.
Commonly abused prescription medications like painkillers are highly sought after. Keep prescription medications in a safe and secure location in your home so that they cannot be taken by others.
We recommend storing prescription medications in their original bottles in one of the following:
Keep track of the number of pills in your bottles and of your refills. If you need to refill more often than expected, there could be a problem.
Step 3: Dispose properly.
Unused or expired medication should not be kept in the home. To prevent abuse and accidental poisoning, always safely discard leftover medication.