Monitor. Secure. Dispose. Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse
Keep track of your prescription drugs and only take as directed by your physician. Sharing or misusing prescription drugs is a felony, and is dangerous. In Missouri, 31% of youth who misuse prescription medications report they are given the medication by a family member.
Keep your prescription medications in a secure location, preferably in a locked medicine cabinet. In Missouri, 16% of teens who misuse prescription medications took them without permission from a friend or family member.
Dispose of unused prescription medications. There is a prescription drug drop box located at most Northland police departments, including at the Excelsior Springs, Liberty, and Richmond police departments. These are available 24 hours a day to drop off medications, which are then disposed of safely.
What's The Problem?
Prescription Drug Misuse in Missouri
According to the Missouri Student Survey of Middle School and High School youth across Missouri, the rate of prescription drug misuse increased from 3.7% to 10% between 2014 and 2016. This represents the number of youth who reported that in the last 30 days, they had used prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them. This is a trend that is also being seen nationwide as the United States struggles with an opioid epidemic. Prescription drug misuse is very dangerous, and in 2015 alone, over 15,000 people overdosed on prescription opioids in the United States. State-wide data shows that painkillers are the most commonly misused medications by youth, but sleeping medications, sedatives, and stimulants are also misused. All of these medications can be very dangerous when misused.
What Can I Do to Help?
Everyone can do their part!
Everyone can help to prevent prescription drug misuse by monitoring, securing, and disposing of their prescription medications. Also, take time to discuss the risks of prescription drug misuse with your children. Help them understand that taking prescription drugs any way other than prescribed is dangerous and illegal. Let them know that they should never share medications. Also, keep an eye on your child's mental and emotional well-being, as people will often turn to prescription drug misuse as an attempt to cope with stress or emotional pain. If you or your child is struggling with prescription drug misuse, get professional help now.