Safety Tips

The crisis of prescription drug abuse

Reprints

The National Safety Council states that overdoses – mostly from prescription opioid painkillers such as Vicodin, Oxycontin and morphine – are the leading cause of unintentional death among adults ages 25-64. NSC notes that overprescribing is a serious problem, and that in 2010 “enough prescription painkillers were provided to medicate every American around the clock for one month.”

To help prevent prescription drug abuse:

  • Ask your doctor about alternative treatment options besides opioids. Over- the-counter medications are often more effective and offer fewer side effects.
  • If you are prescribed opioid painkillers, follow your doctor’s orders exactly and take only what is prescribed for you. Never share prescription medications.
  • Keep medicine locked up and away in a medicine cabinet.
  • Dispose of medications safely – never flush or throw away these drugs.
  • Visit the Food and Drug Administration’s website for information on safe disposal of drugs.