Prescription Drug Misuse

Opioid are sometimes prescribed by doctors for acute or chronic pain. While we don’t want anyone sidelined from work, school, or play by signficiant pain, it is important to know that prescription opioids can lead to dependence and addiction. If you or a family member are prescribed an opiate, take a minute to learn the signs and symptoms of opioid use disorder. It’s also important to discuss non-opiate pain management with your medical provider and, if you are going to take a prescribed opioid, be sure to follow your provider’s prescribing directions.

Here are some other tips for preventing children in your household from abusing prescription drugs:

  • Discuss the dangers of taking unauthorized prescription drugs with young people in your home.
  • Let them know you will be keeping an eye on the prescription drugs in your home.
  • Inventory your medications every six months or more frequently if you suspect abuse.
  • Keep all medications in one location.
  • Store them in a combination safe, locked cabinet, or locked drawer–not your bathroom medicine cabinet. Childproof lock boxes are available at hardware stores.
  • Be alert for possible signs of abuse and addiction, such as hyperactivity, sleeplessness, or disorientation.

Some Myths and Facts about Prescription Opioids

MYTH #1: It’s hard to get prescription drugs without a prescription.

FACT : It’s as easy as opening a medicine cabinet or asking a friend if they have a pill for pain relief.

MYTH #2: Because they’re legal, prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs.

FACT : If taken improperly or without a doctor’s recommendation, prescription drugs can lead to serious health problems, overdosing and even death.

MYTH #3: Prescription drugs work the same way for everyone.

FACT : People may have different reactions to the same prescription drug. Doctors prescribe medications with a patient’s medical history, allergies and conditions in mind.

Helpful Resources