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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM PRESCRIPTION DRUG DANGERS?

Make a list of your medications and carry it with you near your ID.  This way you will always have a list so your doctor will know all the medications you are taking or in the event of an accident or emergency, doctors will know what you are taking and not inadvertently give you a medication that may react or cause an overdose from mixing medications.

If you are seeing more thank on doctor, be sure to let all doctors know the names of your other doctors and give them a list of all medication you are taking.

If at all possible, only go to one pharmacy.  Pharmacists are very knowledgeable about dangerous combinations of different medications and will alert you if they notice a problem.

If you are prescribed a pain medication and you are no longer experiencing pain, you do not have to take the entire prescription.  Call your doctor and let them know you would like to stop taking the medication as you no longer need it.  Some pain medications are highly addictive.  It is not unusual for a person to become addicted simply because they continued to take pain killers for an extended period of time.

When disposing of empty prescription bottles, be sure to remove your name and the name of the medication.  You can use a sharpie to black out the information, or just remove the label.  At the very least, put the bottle in a cereal box or somewhere it will be hidden in the trash.  Some addicts or thieves go through trash to look for medications they are addicted to or can sell for a lot of money.  If this information is available, they may break into your home to steal them.

Use a daily dispenser to keep your medications in so you don't mistakenly take a double dose or miss a dose.

Dispose of your drugs in a safe way or take them to a community drug take back day!!

How should you dispose of them?  Take drugs out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.  Put them in a seal-able bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

 

PROTECT YOUR  GRANDCHILDREN:

Two-thirds of teens who report abuse of prescription medicine are getting them from friends, family and acquaintances.  Make sure the teens in your life don't have access to your medications.  Find out how to monitor, secure and properly dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter cough medicine in your home.

Step 1: Monitor

Parents and grandparents are in an influential position to immediately help reduce teen access to prescription medicine because medicine is commonly found in the home.  But how aware are you of the quantities that are currently in your home?  Think about this:  would you know if some of your pills were missing?  From this day forward, make sure you can honestly answer "YES".

Start by taking note of how many pills are in each of your prescription bottles or pill packets. 

Keep track of you refills. This goes for your own medicine, as well as for your teens and other members of the household.  If you find you need to refill your medicine more often than expected, that could indicate a problem.

If your teen has been prescribed a medicine, be sure you control the medicine, monitor dosage and refills.  You need to be especially vigilant with medicine that are known to be addictive and commonly abused by teens.

Make sure your friends and relatives - especially grandparents - are also aware of the risks.  Encourage them to regularly monitor their own medicines.

If there are other households your teen has access to, talk to those families as well about the importance of monitoring and safeguarding their medicines.

STEP 2:  SECURE

Approach securing your prescriptions the same way you would other valuables in your home, like jewelry or cash.  There's no shame in helping protect those items and the same holds true for your medicine.

Take prescription medicine out of the medicine cabinet and secure them in a place only you know about.

If possible, keep all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet your teen cannot access.

STEP 3:  DISPOSE

Safely dispose of expired or unused prescription medicine is a critical step in helping to protect your teens.  Here's how to safeguard your family and home, and decrease the opportunity for your teens of their friends to abuse your medicine.

Take an inventory of all the medicine in your home.  Start by discarding expired or unused RX and OTC medicine.

Unbelievable as it may seem, teenagers will retrieve discarded prescription medicine from the trash.  To help prevent this from happening, mix the medicine with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.  Put the mixture into an empty can or bag and discard.

Unless the directions on the packaging say otherwise, do not flush medicine down the drain or toilet.

To help prevent unauthorized refills and protect your own and your family's privacy, remove any personal, identifiable information from prescription bottles or pill packages before you throw them away.

 

 

 



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