When used appropriately prescription medications are helpful and necessary. Unfortunately, it is all too easy for a substance intended to help to cause harm.
Abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise among young people and the consequences to our families and communities are devastating. The misuse of medicines such as painkillers, sedatives and stimulants results in serious health risks including addiction and death.
More than half of young people who misuse prescription drugs get them from a friend or family member — from us.
The SAMA Foundation urges parents – and all of us – to be aware of the dangers of prescription drugs. Help is available for young people struggling with drugs, as well as their families. To get help and support call the SAMA Family Navigator phone line at (206) 322.7262 or toll-free at 1(888) 922.7262.
WATCH– KCTS 9 Documentary: Prescription for Abuse: A report on the alarming increase in prescription-drug abuse in Washington state.
And we can all help address the problem of prescription drug misuse by signing the pledge above and following three simple steps:
The first step in controlling who gets their hands on your medications is checking what you have, and keeping careful track of quantities and expiration dates.
For information on the types of medications that can be abused, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
It is all too easy for a substance intended to help us to cause us harm. So if you need to keep medicines in your home, keep them under lock and key.
While there is no one device recommended for safeguarding your medications, below are a few ideas:
- If you already have one, you can use an existing fire safe or gun safe.
- Use a cut-proof bag designed for travel safety
- “LOCKMED” Medicine Storage Lock Box
- “Vacation Vault”
- Locking medicine box
If you have any tips or products for keeping pharmaceuticals secure, let us know.
It is essential to responsibly dispose of unused and unwanted prescriptions. Washington State has various options for medicine return. Find details here:
- What medications can and cannot be returned?
- Need more information about how and why you should properly dispose of your unused medications.
- Eleven counties in Washington State accept controlled substances including, Snohomish County Partnership for Secure Medicine Disposal and Clark County’s medicine return program,find a location near you.
- Find disposal site information from around the country.
SAMA supports efforts to create medicine return programs that accept all medicines, including controlled substances. For more information SAMA’s advocacy efforts contact firstname.lastname@example.org.