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Safe Use &
Everyone can help prevent prescription drug misuse by safely using, storing and disposing of medications.
Always talk to your doctor about how to use a prescription medication before taking it.
Be sure to follow dosing recommendations closely.
Don't mix medications without first checking with your doctor.
Never mix prescription opioids with alcohol.
Don't take someone
Always keep prescription medications in a locked or secure place – and out of the reach of children.
Have a family conversation about the dangers of misusing prescription medication.
Never share medications with family members.
When finished using a
prescription medication as
directed by a medical
professional, safely dispose of it rather than keep it in your medicine cabinet for future use.
Below are several ways to easily and safely dispose of unused medications. Visit the FDA website or talk to your doctor about the disposal method best suited for your medication.
One of the best things we can all do to help address the opioid crisis in our state is to safely dispose of unused prescription medications.
You can use household
materials to dispose of your unused medications. All you have to do is mix your
medicines with kitty litter or old coffee grounds in an
airtight container and
dispose of it in your trash can.
There are several options:
You can use a home
disposal kit – just put unused medications
in the included pouch, add water, seal and
dispose of it in the
If someone you know has started misusing opioids, early intervention is important. Learning the warning signs of opioid addiction can help protect your family,
friends and communities.
Physical and behavioral changes could indicate someone is misusing prescription opioids or illegal drugs, like heroin or fentanyl.
Common signs of opioid misuse:
INDICATORS IN THE HOME
Increase in fatigue or drowsiness
Rapid weight loss
Frequent constipation or nausea
Decline in personal hygiene
Wearing long sleeves regardless of the season
Unexplained absences from school or work
Drop in grades or performance at work
Loss of interest in hobbies
Spending less time with friends or family
Hanging out with a new friend group
Missing prescription medications
Empty pill bottles
Paraphernalia, such as syringes, shoe laces or rubber hose, kitchen spoons, aluminum foil, straws, lighters
Spotting warning signs in teenagers can be particularly hard because young people go through many emotional and physical changes.
If you suspect a loved one is misusing opioids, there are resources that can help you prepare for a conversation with them. It’s also important to talk to your family doctor about prevention and treatment options.