Prescription Drug Safety:
The widespread use and misuse of prescription opioids (drugs prescribed to relieve pain) are national phenomena, and our region is no exception. According to the Vermont Department of Health, 19% of Franklin County residents–almost 1 in 5– received at least one prescription for an opioid in 2015.
SAFE USE: All medication should be used only as directed. The Vermont Department of Health has issued guidelines to help patients determine what is safe and appropriate. Remember:
- Anyone can become addicted to opioid prescription pain medication.
- Ask your health provider if a pain relief medication is necessary and ask if alternatives are available.
- With opioids, unlike antibiotics, it is SAFE to discontinue use before you have finished the medicine.
- Take no more medicine than prescribed.
- It is NOT SAFE to use someone else’s prescription medication or share your medication with others.
More information on safe prescription drug use and how to talk with your doctor:
SAFE STORAGE: All medications, including over the counter medications, should be stored out of reach of children and pets. Prescription medications, especially medications that are subject to misuse (for example, medications for mental health disorders, pain, ADHD, anxiety, and depression) should be kept in a locked safe or locked medicine cabinet.
DO NOT flush any medicines down the toilet, as they can get into water sources and may be toxic to domestic animals and wildlife. Dispose of all expired or unused medications at a permanent drop-off location or at a take-back day event. Proper disposal of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications help ensure that drugs do not harm children, pets, or wildlife, get diverted or misused or pollute our waterways.