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Medication Safety

Medication Safety
Seguridad de los Medicamentos

Safe medication storage


Keep medications in a safe place.

  • Your children are at risk for accidentally using medications. Always put medications (especially opioids) in a safe and secure place like a locked cabinet, drawer or box. This helps protect your children and it prevents others from getting the medications.

  • When your child was a toddler, you kept chemicals out of reach. Do the same with your medications. Older children and teens can be just as curious as toddlers. They may be pressured by friends to take medications. They are at risk for using prescriptions drugs in the wrong way or “to get high.” The main source of medications for teens are their friends, the home medicine cabinet or their friends’ medicine cabinet – not a drug dealer.

Keep a close watch on your medications.

  • Keep track of how many pills are in each of your prescription bottles or pill packets. Keep track of refills. Do this with all the medications in your home.

  • Monitor doses and refills of your teen’s prescribed medications. Be very careful to track medications that are known to be addictive and commonly abused by teens, such as opioids, benzodiazepines and stimulants.

  • Make sure your friends, parents of your teen’s friends, neighbors and relatives – especially grandparents – know the risks. Ask them to always monitor the medications in their homes.

Proper medication disposal


You can dispose of most medicines in your household trash.

  • Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, kitty litter, dish soap or used coffee grounds.

  • Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.

  • Throw the container in your household trash.

  • Scratch out all personal information on the prescription label of your empty pill bottle or empty medicine packaging to make it unreadable, then dispose of the container.

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Medication safety in other languages

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