Safeguarding Your Home: Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
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Safeguarding Your Home: Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse

Where are teens getting prescription drugs?

Teens abuse prescription drugs because they are easy to access. The majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends. Some teens will hand out or sell their own "extra" pills or pills they have stolen.

How can I safeguard my home?


  • Keep track of how many pills are in each prescription bottle or pack.
  • Keep track of refills on your prescriptions and those of others in the household.
  • If you need to refill prescriptions sooner than usual, this could indicate a problem.
  • Monitor your teen's medication (dosages and refills).
  • Encourage friends and family, especially grandparents, to regularly monitor their medications.


  • Keep medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, in a safe place such as a locked cabinet, not in an unlocked medicine cabinet.
  • Encourage friends, family and parents of your teen's friends to lock up their medications or keep them in a safe place.


  • Dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs:
    • Visit an ongoing prescription drug disposal program, Operation Medicine Cabinetâ„¢ to properly dispose of expired or unused prescriptions.
    • Do not throw prescription or over-the-counter medications in the garbage, flush them down the toilet, or dump them down the drain.
    • To prevent illegal refills, remove the label from the outside of the prescription bottle before disposing.

Tips for Parents:

  • Educate teens about the importance of not sharing medications with others and following the instructions and dosages on the medication.
  • Talk to your teen about the risks of abusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Be a good role model when using prescription drugs yourself.
  • Know your child's friends and their parents.
  • Safeguard your home to reduce access to prescription drugs.