• Safe Use
  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor
  • Resources

Improper use of medications can be very dangerous.  Be sure you use all medications safely and effectively.

  • Be informed, ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have
  • Inform your doctor of all other medications, vitamins, or supplements you are taking
  • Take all medications as prescribed, never take more than directed
  • Read and follow all directions and information
  • Never share your medication or take someone else’s medication
  • Keep a list of all medications you take
  • Use one pharmacy
  • Pay attention to expiration dates
  • Make sure you are taking the correct medication by never taking medications in the dark
  1. Why do I need this medication? Is it right for me?
  2. How long should I take this medication?
  3. How can I reduce the potential side effects?
  4. What if I have a history of addiction?
  5. What about the other medications I'm taking?
  6. How should I store my opioid medicine?
  7. What should I do with unused opioid medicine?
  8. Can I have an Rx for Naloxone?



  • Safe Storage
  • Resources

Theft and abuse of prescription medication is a serious problem. Over 75% of teens who abuse prescription medications obtain them by buying them, stealing them, or being given them from a friend or relative.

  • Keep medications away and out of sight and in a secure location
  • Store medications in a cool and dry area, instead of the bathroom
  • Lock up medications and provide guests with safe storage options
  • Keep your medications separate from other’s medications
  • Never leave medications on the counter
  • Monitor the amount of pills remaining to check for any missing medicine
  • Keep medications in the bottle it came in
  • Never mix medications in the same bottle
  • Keep the lids on pill bottles tightly closed


  • Safe Disposal
  • Resources

To prevent accidental or intentional ingestion of potentially dangerous medications by children, or pets, the FDA recommends properly disposing of all unused and expired medications quickly.

  • Properly discard unused and/or expired medications
  • Do not keep extra prescription medications at home, especially medications with high abuse potential such as opioid pain relievers, stimulants, or depressants.
  • Scratch off all identifying information on the prescription label
  • Take medications to a local drop box
  • Participate in take back events
  • Most medications can be disposed of in household trash, to properly do so:
    • Remove medications from their original containers
    • Mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds
      • This makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through trash seeking drugs.
    • Place mixture in a sealable bag or empty can
      • Sealing the bag or placing mixture in a can helps to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of the trash bag.
    • Throw the container in the trash
  • Flush prescription medications down the toilet only if the label or accompanying patient information instructs doing so.
    • To learn more about medications that are FDA approved to be flushed or thrown away visit, FDA.gov
  • Ask your pharmacist of your options for properly disposing your medications.


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