If you’ve seen the news lately, you have probably heard that the US, and North Dakota, are in the midst of a full-scale opioid epidemic. What you may not realize, though, is that one of the most common ways this addiction starts is with prescription drugs—especially pain medication. One thing every one of us can do is manage medications in such a way that no one else has access to them:
- LOCK: Keep medication out of sight and in a safe and secure place.
- Consider storing medications in a lock box or hide them in a discreet location in your home so they are not easy for others to find.
- Keep a low profile. Your medicines are your business. There's no reason to tell people about your medicines.
- MONITOR: Keep track of medication and take only as directed.
- Count how many pills you have at any given time to check for missing pills.
- Never share your medications. If a family member or friend is injured, instead of "sharing" a pain reliever, make sure he or she sees a health care professional.
- TAKE BACK: Drop off unused medication at local Take Back locations.
- To find a location near you, visit ND Take Back Program Locations.
- If a take-back program is not available, prescription drugs can be placed in an opaque container mixed with coffee grounds or kitty litter and thrown in the garbage.