You Can Prevent Medication Misuse

Prescription and over-the-counter medications are the third most commonly abused and misused substances (after alcohol and marijuana).  In 2015, about 12% of teens abused prescription drugs most of these teens got the drugs from home. These medications are involved in two-thirds of unintended poisonings in children.

Examples are opioids, benzodiazepines, and amphetamines but there are others.  More information: Prescription and Over the Counter Drug Guide

Prescription and over-the counter medications should be taken according to the directions given by a health care provider and only for the reasons the medications were given. 

Taking the wrong amount of medication is taken, or taking it by someone it is not intended for can lead to addiction, poisoning or death.  Even a small amount of adult medication taken by a child can lead to death.  To prevent accidental poisoning:

  • Keep all medications in a safe, secure location out of the reach of children. 

Discard any unused or outdated medication by returning them to a pharmacist.  More information: about Medications Return Program