Always store opioids in a safe and secure place. Do not leave prescription bottles in the medicine cabinet, and keep the medication away from others, particularly young children. Children sometimes confuse medications for candy and end up swallowing them, which can lead to overdose. Other family members and visitors could also find prescription medications in the house and use them inappropriately.
Never share your prescriptions.
More than half of people who misuse prescribed opioids get them from a friend or relative, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Don’t throw unused opioids in the trash. Improper disposal of prescription medicines can lead to other people finding and taking them.
If you have leftover or expired prescription medications, follow these drug disposal tips:
Remove the prescription label that contains your name and other identifying information.
Check with your municipal trash and recycling program providers about approved disposal drop-off options in your community, such as police stations.
Look for pharmacies and health care clinics that provide drop-off boxes or sell specially designed drug disposal envelopes that you can seal and mail to an approved facility.
Mix the medication with dirt, kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing it in the garbage.