Keeping Medications Safe

We live in a society where prescription drugs are available and where quick fixes are expected, resulting in a normalization of the misuse of medications. Prescription drugs are seen as acceptable and are readily available due to the high amount of these drugs being prescribed. This access is an underlying factor to this growing problem; Generation RX has found that most people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends. Not only is this dangerous and illegal but it is also preventable!

What You Can Do to Prevent Prescription Misuse
  1. Don’t share your medications!
    Medications prescribed to you are for you alone and can have very dangerous effects on those you share with! It is also illegal to share your medications with others- you can be convicted as a drug dealer.
  2. Keep your medications safe! Check out our free locking caps!
    Keep your medications low profile. Scratch out the personal information to protect not only the medication but your personal identity information, too! Store your medication containers in a locked box or cabinet out of sight.
  3. Properly dispose of unused medications!
    Take unused medications to your local disposal drop-box or take-back event or  get one of our free Deterra bags that neutralize medications! 
    If neither of these options are available in your area, read your prescription label, talk to your pharmacist, check out the FDA’s safe disposal guidelines, or find drug take back locations in Missouri.
  4. Recognize the signs of prescription drug misuse:
    1. Sudden mood changes
    2. Secretiveness and withdrawing from family and friends
    3. Decreased or obsessive interest in school work
    4. Prescription medications go missing
    5. Requesting early refills or continually "losing" prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be written
    6. Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor
  5. Talk about it!
  6. How to talk to a friend about their prescription drug misuse:
    1. Talk with your friend directly about your concerns
    2. Make it known that you are aware of the problem
    3. Be prepared for resistance and denial
    4. Assist your friend in seeking treatment, if needed
    5. Treatment options may include talking to a healthcare professional, attending a support group, and/or medication assisted treatment (using non-addictive medication)
50% of Missouri college students indicated that they do not talk with their families about prescription drug misuse
*Data from MCHBS 2014

This leads to misinformation and ignorance on the dangers of misusing these drugs, which is a major factor of this growing problem. Be sure to talk to your friends and family about the risks of prescription drugs and what can be done to prevent their misuse.

Do you need help?

You may need to seek help for prescription drug misuse if:
  1. You have been taking medication that was not prescribed to you
  2. You have been taking more pills than prescribed
  3. You have been taking pills more often than prescribed
  4. You have been using any kind of medication with alcohol
  5. You have been using medication from a friend

Need help now?

drug phone   National Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-800-943-0566
rx phone   Prescription Drug Abuse Hotline: 1-888-939-3612

Published by Partners in Prevention. All rights reserved. Contact Us. MACHB 2020 N=8769
Created with assistance from the Missouri Department of Mental Health and the Missouri Opioid State Targeted Response (STR) and Missouri State Opioid Response (SOR)
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