When prescription painkillers fall into the wrong hands, they can be life-changing. Painkillers are extremely addictive and deadly when abused. Most instances of opiate addiction starts in the home. When friends or family find prescription painkillers in the medicine cabinets, they are easily accessible and can fall into the hands of a young teenagers. Many kids in school are pressuring other friends to look for these medications so they can share them. A simple action of a young teenager or adult taking a few pills to share with friends can have deadly consequences.
Prescription painkillers should be locked in a safe, not simply placed in a medicine cabinet. These medications need to be protected and locked up as if you were handling poison, because that is exactly what they are when they are abused. Studies have shown that kids see these medications in their parents bathrooms and since they are prescribed by a Doctor they think they aren't as dangerous. They simply think that since their parents take it, it can't be that bad. This couldn't further from the truth. Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and other popular opiate medications are as dangerous as heroin when abused.
Many states and local authorities have created programs to help get rid of prescription painkillers that are not being taken. Some people get prescribed a narcotic painkiller for a legit medical reason. Whether it's a root canal, minor surgery, or a strained/pulled muscle. Often times the patient doesn't take all of the pills as the pain wasn't that bad or didn't like the way the pills made them feel. Programs have been put into place to dispose of these medications correctly. You should never flush ANY type of prescription medication down the toilet. Studies have been done where samples of the drinking water have shown traces of prescription medications. Experts say that it is a result of flushing them into our sewage system.
Look for programs in your own town or city. Many local police departments and health departments hold prescription pill drop-off programs. On most weekends, they usually have a police officer or health professional available to take your old medications and destroy them safely. You can have the self assurance that your old medications were disposed of properly and kept out of reach of the wrong people. You can also contact your local pharmacy as well as most now take old prescriptions or can direct you where to dispose of them.
Recently in Abington, Massachusetts on a weekend in late October residents turned in more than $15,000 worth or prescription drugs. Their local police announced that 51 residents turned in over 440 bottles of medication! 440 bottles from only 51 residents. Among the various medication taken in, 949 Oxycodone and 149 Hydromorphone pills were destroyed. In the wrong hands those medications could have done serious damage. This is only one small town in the United States. Imagine how many pills could be destroyed per year if more people were aware of the dangers.