Just about every household has prescription drugs, or even over the counter (OTC) medications, in the home. And although we’d like to believe they would only be used as prescribed, they are subject to being abused. So, here are eight simple measures you can take to protect yourself and your family.
- Mark the lid of your pain medication with a red dot to remind yourself that they require special handling.
- If you feel too many pills were prescribed, ask the pharmacist to fill a smaller amount and pick up more if/when necessary.
- Ask your physician to write an order for a smaller amount with refills. For example, instead of 60 pills, maybe 20 with two refills.
- Keep your prescription medications in a safe place. That may not always be the medicine cabinet. Be creative to prevent kids, and even their friends, from sneaking a few pills.
- Make sure you assist older parents with protecting their medications.
- Inside their home, drugs may be stolen by family members or visitors with addiction issues.
- People target elderly folks that receive medication from mail order pharmacies.
- Make medication accountability part of the estate management plan for elderly parents or parents in nursing homes.
- Keep a count of pills and usage lines on liquids (kind of like height chart you’d measure your growing kids against the wall).
- Dispose of unused medications appropriately. Check out our Drug Drop Off Page for information on disposal
- Know the warning signs of abuse. For a quick review, read our WARNING SIGNS guide .
Try and make this a priority in the next few days. A few simple steps can make a world of difference.