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Monitor, Secure, Dispose




Monitor, Secure and Dispose

Most pharmacists recognize that prescription drug abuse is growing exponentially. Part of this is due to the assumption that prescription medications are “safe and effective” since they are approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Unfortunately, most young people do not think about or realize the risks associated with misuse and abuse. When prescription medications are not used according to precise instructions and with appropriate oversight by medical professionals, the risk of side effects, addiction, and even death are greatly multiplied.

Because many teens are freely provided with or steal these drugs from parents, grandparents, or friends, this campaign is designed to provide key information on how to properly monitor, secure, and dispose of commonly abused and other medicines and to raise awareness of teen prescription drug abuse.

Follow these three simple steps:

  1. First, monitor your medications. Take note of how many pills are in each bottle or packet and keep track of your refills.

  2. Second, secure your medications – both prescription and over-the-counter. Keep them in a safe place where youth cannot access them. Lock them away if necessary. Encourage other adults to secure their medications as well.

  3. Third, dispose of unneeded, unused, and outdated medications. Most drugs should be thrown in the trash after mixing the medication with an undesirable substance such as used coffee grounds, kitty litter, or dirt. Or take the medications to a local drop box.

This card provides additional suggestions about how to properly handle your prescription medications. If you need more information about disposal of medications, please refer to the SMARxT Disposal at or contact FDA at 1-888/INFO-FDA (1-888/463-6332).