Safeguarding Your Medication
According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, 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 medicine. Be sure to monitor, secure and properly dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter cough medicine in your home.
Keep track of your medication. Know how many pills are in each of your prescription bottles. 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, and monitor dosages and refills. You need to be especially vigilant with medicines that are known to be addictive and commonly abused by teens, such as opioids, benzodiazepines and stimulants.
Make sure your friends, parents of your teen’s friends, neighbors and relatives — especially grandparents — are also aware of the risks. Encourage them to regularly monitor their own medicines in their own homes.
Safely Store All Medication
Do not keep prescription medicine in the obvious places, such as the bathroom medicine cabinet. Keep all medication in a safe place, like a locked cabinet. Spread the word to other households that teens may have access to, and encourage them to secure their prescriptions as well.
Properly Dispose of Medication
Check the medicine cabinets in your home and make sure there are no unfinished or outdated prescription medications. Safely dispose all expired or unused medicine by taking the following steps:
- Check www.mass.gov/DrugDropbox to see if there is a permanent waste medication collection site in your town or city.
- If your town does not have a waste medication collection site, certain medications can be flushed down the toilet. Check the medication sheet that same with your medication, or call your pharmacist.
- If disposing of empty prescription bottles, be sure to remove any personal, identifiable information from prescription bottles or pill packages before you throw them away. This will protect your privacy and help prevent unauthorized refills.