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.


Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse

The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines prescription drug abuse as “the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; in a way other than prescribed; or for the experience or feeling it causes.”

Prescription drug abuse is a national problem, especially among teens. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet.

In a 2010 Groton Youth survey, the Groton Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition found that over 20% of 11th and 12th graders in Groton admitted to abusing prescription pain medications, which was 4% higher than 2008 and 5% higher than the regional average.


Take it to the Box!

In order to help prevent youth prescription drug abuse, it is important for parents and community members to properly dispose of unused or expired prescription medications. The best way to do this is to drop off the unused medications at a prescription drug drop box, which are availble at the following police departments:

All of these drop boxes are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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.

Helpful Resources