Practice Safe Medication Use
Take medicines ONLY as prescribed.
- Keep a current list of your medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and dietary/herbal supplements. Bring your up-to-date medicine list to all of your medical and pharmacy visits. [LINK TO FORM as Photo]
- Keep opioids and all other medicines in a safe place, out of the reach of children. Keep your medicines in a secure, preferably locked place.
- Never give away or share your medicines with others.
- Never mix pain medicines with alcohol, sleeping pills, or any illicit substance.
- Review your medicines every six months and properly dispose of all expired, unused or unwanted medicines as soon as possible.
- Find the disposal location in your area.
- Prevent an Overdose
- Carry Naloxone
Tips for safe medication use
- Take your medications as prescribed and only if needed, and never more than directed by your medical provider.
- Don’t share your prescription pain medicine or other medications with anyone.
- Don’t take anyone else’s prescription medication.
- Keep track of your medication and count the number of pills in the bottle.
- Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about the ingredients, warnings, directions, interaction with other medication or anything else having to do with your prescription.
- Never crush pills unless you have been instructed to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.
- Lock your prescription painkiller and other medications up securely.
- Safely dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription medications.
- If you take too large of a dose or accidentally take the wrong medication, call the poison control center immediately at 800-222-1222.
Storage and disposal tips
- Keep prescription painkillers in their original labeled containers out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf.
- Keep track of how many pills are left.
- Having prescription painkillers in your home increases the risk that another person in your household might find them and misuse them, or take them accidentally.
- Get rid of painkillers that you are no longer using safely. NEVER dispose by flushing down the toilet because it can harm the drinking water supply.
Where can I dispose of my medications?
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Disposal at home
- Before disposing of any pills, mark out any personal information on the bottle.
- Add water to pills to dissolve them.
- Mix pills or liquid drugs with something that you can’t eat, like cat litter or dirt.
- Close the lid and secure with duct or packing tape.
- Place the bottle inside a non-see-through container like a coffee can or detergent bottle.
- Tape that container closed.
- Hide the container in the trash. Do not put in the recycle bin.
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