The prescription drug abuse epidemic remains a serious problem, but is in no way a hopeless battle. By being aware of the problem, how it has come about, and how to deal with it can put our community on the tracks to a healthier, safer place.
What exactly is the problem?
- In the U.S. 1 in 20 people have used prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons
- Prescription drugs are abused more frequently than heroin, cocaine, and meth combined
- Every 25 minutes someone dies from a prescription drug overdose.
- 6 out of 10 teens who have abused prescription painkillers did so before age 15.
Many teens think prescription drugs are safe because they were prescribed by a doctor. But medications can have a very different effect on others. There are also dangers in mixing drugs, or taking them with alcohol.
How are these drugs obtained by youth and others?
- Family medicine cabinets
- Peers at school
- Adults “doctor shopping”; going from doctor to doctor to get multiple prescriptions
- Ordering from illegal websites
So how do we combat this dangerous and life-threatening problem?
- Lock up your medications
- Keep out of sight/reach of children
- Only take as prescribed
- Do not share with others
- Immediately dispose of unused and expired medications
Look for drug take-back events near you OR safely dispose of medications yourself. The West Lafayette Police Department has a monthly drug drop-off time scheduled where you can take your medications to be disposed of, no questions asked. To safely get rid of your drugs on your own, simply follow these few steps:
- Pour medication in sealable plastic bag
- Add water to dissolve
- Add coffee grounds or kitty litter
- Seal plastic bag
- Put in trash
- Remove and destroy bottle labels
Thank you for helping create a safer, healthier community by demonstrating responsible prescription drug behavior!