Prescription Pill Abuse

CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THE NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION PILL DISPOSABLE PROGRAM ON APRIL 28, 2012 

Prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.

It is a common misconception that using prescription drugs is safer than using typical "street" drugs such as cocaine or heroin.  In fact, they are just as dangerous as any drug you could buy off the street.  Most teens are able to find prescription drugs that they could get high off of from their own bathroom cabinets.  This why it is imperative for you as a parent to properly discard of prescription pills when they are no longer of any use or expired.  If it is not possible to dispose of prescription pills at an authorized location then here are some tips:

  • Take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash.
  • Put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.
  • Before throwing out a medicine container, scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.