Substance Abuse Prevention: Prescription Drugs

This morning as I was getting ready for the day I was watching the morning news. There was a story that caught my attention about a local young man, addicted to prescription drugs. (http://www.ketv.com/news/former-drug-addict-offers-sobering-take-on-prescription-drug-abuse-epidemic/31191166)

Being that I have a house full of my own sons it made me stop and think about how this could easily be one of them. When we as parents/caregivers think of our youth, we know that we don’t want them to be using drugs and alcohol. Prescription drugs are not usually the first thing that I think of though when I am telling them not to use substances.

The easy access that youth have to prescription drugs in and outside of the home is alarming. I know that most of us have some type of prescriptions in our home whether they are current or old that we just never get around to getting rid of.

When I go to my grandmother’s house you would think it is a pharmacy. Due to health issues she, like many older family members or friends have gotten used to taking a several medications on a daily basis. How do the people you know store these medications? My grandmother’s is in a plastic ziplock bag on the end table next to her recliner in the living room. Knowing that it’s easier for her to access them there, it means that they are also in easy access to the young children and visitors that come wandering through the house as well. Have you looked in your medicine cabinet lately?


https://www.google.com/search?q=prescription+drugs&safe=active&biw=960&bih=537&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=GCjaVNmCF86pyASM5YD4DA&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#imgdii=_&imgrc=Zo6_Atm4ImwjWM%253A%3B0S0INQRmUDyMQM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.addictionsearch.com%252F_media%252Faddictionsearch%252Fstock%252F430_238%252Fprescription_drug_addiction.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.addictionsearch.com%252Ftreatment_articles%252Farticle%252Fprescription-drug-addiction-abuse-and-treatment_32.html%3B430%3B238If you or people you know have expired medication that you want to dispose of there are a couple of safe ways to do this per the Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA and Environmental Protection Agency, EPA.

 Drug Disposal Guidelines, Office of National Drug Control Policy (October 2009)

DON’T: Flush expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.

DO: Return unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs to a drug take-back program or follow the steps for household disposal below.

Household Disposal Instructions

  1. Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.
  2. Put the mixture into a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty margarine tub, or into a sealable bag.
  3. Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
  4. Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers by covering it with permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off.
  5. The sealed container with the drug mixture, and the empty drug containers, can now be placed in the trash.

To dispose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, call your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service and ask if a drug take-back program is available in your community. Some counties hold household hazardous waste collection days, where prescription and over-the-counter drugs are accepted at a central location for proper disposal.

For the TakeAway Environmental Return System (prescription medicine box) visit your local pharmacy such as Kohll’s, ShopKo, Hy-Vee, U-Save, Walgreens, Alegent Health. For more participating locations, further detail on how to expose of medications, what medications are accepted and what substances/materials are not, etc. please visit http://www.nebraskameds.org/.

Be sure to check out our website for upcoming Drug Take-back Events.


SOMS link




Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather


  1. Susan TAMAYO says

    lots of Dr. Offices will take them as well for safe disposal. great blog!

Comments are now closed for this article.

402-346-0902Contact Us