In the Health In Action column of the May/June 2012 issue of Gospel Today, Dr. Sharon offered some great practical advice on how to spot and stop prescription drug abuse by our loved ones. Make sure you check out the article to ensure that you’re equipped to deal with this issue which, statistically, is more common than you may be aware.
A key component to preventing drug abuse is the proper storage and disposal of them. Safeguard My Meds, a national educational program from the National Community Pharmacists Association and Purdue Pharma L.P., is a great resource for patients, families and communities in raising awareness about the importance of safe storage and disposal of prescription medicine in an effort to reduce the risk of misuse and abuse. Visit them at www.safeguardmymeds.org.
Here are some general rules to follow from Safeguard My Meds:
The Do\’s and Don\’ts of Safe Medicine Storage
DO ask your community pharmacist if any of the medicine you have been prescribed may have the potential for abuse.
DO lock up medicine that is at risk for being abused in a cabinet, drawer, or medicine safe.
DO keep medicine in a cool, dry place that is out of the reach of children.
DO store medicine in its original container â€” the label on the bottle provides important information about the medicine.
DO keep an updated list of all prescription medicine in your home. Take an inventory at least twice a year â€” when clocks â€˜spring\’ forward in the spring and â€˜fall\’ back in autumn, for example.
DO talk to your community pharmacist about how to properly dispose of unused or unwanted medicine. Additionally, you can access disposal information online at www.fda.gov by searching for â€œRx drug disposal.â€
DON\’T leave medicine in places that are easily accessible to children or pets.
DON\’T store medicine in a bathroom medicine cabinet where humidity and temperature changes can cause damage.1
DON\’T share prescription medicine. Healthcare professionals prescribe specific medicine for individuals based on personal medical histories and other health factors. A medicine that works for one person may cause harm â€” even death â€” to someone else, even if symptoms are similar.
DON\’T take medicine in front of children who often mimic adults.