Did you know?

Even though prescription drugs are medicine, misusing them can be just s dangerous, deadly or illegal as street drugs.

What are the dangers of misusing prescription drugs?

  • According to the Montana State Crime lab in 2012 there were over 300 Montana deaths related to misuse or abuse of prescription drugs.  1
  • 70% of people 12 and older who abused pain relievers in 2007-2008 say they got them from a friend or relative.  1
  • 1 in 5 U.S. high school students report abusing a prescription medication at least once in their lives.  2
  • Teens who abuse prescription drugs are twice as likely to use alcohol, five times more likely to use marijuana, and twelve to twenty times more likely to use illegal street drugs such as heroin, Ecstasy and cocaine than teens who do not abuse prescription drugs.  3
  • Each year in the United States, more than 71,000 children aged 18 and younger are seen in emergency rooms for unintentional overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.  4

What can you do to protect yourself and your family?

  • Educate yourself about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs.
  • Talk openly with your child about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs.  Start as early as 8 years old.
  • Proper Use: Take prescriptions prescribed only to you and take exactly as directed.
  • Proper Storage:  Lock-up your medications, store medications “Up and Away” from kids and pets
  • Proper Disposal:  Dispose of unused and expired medications by taking them to the 24-Hour Drop Box at the Missoula Police Department at 435 Ryman (pills only) or ask your pharmacist.

References
1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2 Partnership for a Drug Free America; 3 National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University; 4 Office of National Drug Control Policy