Sunday, April 29, 2012

PLEASE: Dispose of Unused Prescription Drugs

The most common drug used by teens is marijuana.
What's the second most common?  Prescription Drugs.

An HHS report showed that 3% of all kids (ages 12-18) misused prescription drugs in 2010.  That percentage doubles for young adults (ages 18-25).

I'm not just talking about cough medicine.  I'm talking about Vicodin, Valium, Ritalin, Percocet, Oxycontin, Xanax, etc.  

Pain killers are the most common (see graph below):

Past Month Nonmedical Use of Types of Psychotherapeutic 
Drugs among Persons Aged 12 or Older: 2002-2010

How do they get it? 
55% get it from a friend or relative for free (often without the family members knowledge).

I've talked with friends and family about getting rid of their old painkillers.  I know you have the best kids and the greatest grand-children in the world.  Help them stay that way.  Keep your medications locked up, and dispose of the ones you're not using anymore. 

I think of my own family.  My parents are about the best people I've ever met.  They have 10+ grandchildren.  All are being brought up in good families and I honestly believe none of them will ever use an illegal drug or misuse a prescription drug.

My mother also teaches piano lessons and has kids in and out of the house every day for lessons.  I have no reason to think they would ever steal or use drugs either.

All the same - I recently talked with my dad about getting rid of any pain killers he had left over from when he broke his ankle a few years ago.

I know the pills cost money.  I know there is always a chance you could need a pain killer or a sedative in the future.  I know how much we all hate to waste money or throw things away that are still perfectly good.  Believe me, saving the medications is not worth the risk.  Let me reiterate:


Get rid of the drugs.  Protect yourself, your kids, your grandkids, your neighbors, your friends, your bookclub, your church group, your piano students, your babysitter, etc...
If you ever need a pain killer again you can spend the money to see your doctor and get a new prescription.  That's cheaper than jail, rehab, life-long addiction, etc...

How do you dispose of the medications?  Read the label. 
If you're still not sure: this FDA website explains it.

To find the next National "Drug Take Back Day" go HERE - it lists the dates and participating pharmacies.

Reno friends: here's your list for 9/29/2012 .

- Now please stop reading and take 5 minutes to check your own medicine cabinet.  It's worth it.

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