The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated the number of opioids prescribed per person was three times higher in 2015 than it was in 1999. Some individuals who misuse prescription drugs, particularly teens, believe these substances are safer than illicit drugs because they are prescribed by a healthcare professional and dispensed by a pharmacist. The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that over more than half (53.0 percent) of people who misused pain relievers in the past year reported that they obtained the pain relievers the last time from a friend or relative. Here are some things you can do to reduce the abuse of prescription drugs:

»     Follow disposal guidelines.  Remove medications from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds, dirt or kitty litter.  Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can or another container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

»     Talk to your kids.  It’s important that our children learn about the use and abuse of prescription drugs.

»     Take advantage of community take-back programs.  Call your local trash/recycling service or local law enforcement center to see if a take-back program is available in your community.

»     Take prescription drugs to your counties ‘Medication Disposal Box.’ Your county has a disposal box for old or unneeded medications. Listed to the right are the counties ‘Medication Disposal Box’ locations in the Sieda Behavioral Health & Treatment service area.

If you or someone you know is struggling with prescription drug abuse, please know the Sieda Behavioral Health and Treatment Services team is here to help.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at 641-683-6747.