Parents are often advised to lock up their prescriptions or to get rid of unused prescriptions, but there the advice often ends. What's the best way to carry out this advice?
Just keeping your prescriptions in your purse or bedside table does not provide any protection. A locking medicine chest is a better answer. There are many vendors who sell medicine chests, even some that provide keyless access with a keypad. Online vendors who provide these medicine chests include www.stacksandstacks.com, www.kaplantoys.com, and www.nutone.com A keyless medicine chest can be obtained through www.nokey.com. Once the chest is received, a homeowner would need to install the chest in the wall himself or herself or hire a handyman to install it.
And what about unused prescriptions? Many people suggest flushing them down the toilet but this is not recommended by the Food and Drug Association as this method releases these drugs into municipal water supplies. The FDA recommends mixing the drugs with undesirable substances such as cat litter or coffee grounds and putting them in the garbage. But this could, in fact, make these drugs available for addicts who might already be combing through garbage for materials they can use for identity theft.
A much better solution is to ensure that any unused or expired prescriptions are destroyed. The best way to do this varies from state to state. Some hospitals and some pharmacies will accept unneeded prescriptions. Some areas such as Boulder, Colorado and Los Angeles County have hazardous material drop-off locations where prescriptions can be disposed of. In many other areas, hazardous household material drop-off days provide a way for families to get rid of prescription drugs they do not need. "The most important thing of all is to eliminate the chance that someone will abuse your medication and possibly become addicted," stated Derry Hallmark, Director of Admissions and Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor at Narconon Arrowhead. Narconon Arrowhead is one of the country's leading drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, located in Canadian, Oklahoma. "To an addicted person, coffee grounds are not a deterrent. The only way to guarantee that you do not unintentionally contribute to someone's substance abuse is to destroy the unused drugs completely.
If you do know someone who has become addicted to prescription or other drugs or alcohol, contact Narconon's free addiction consultation and referral helpline at 1-800-468-6933 or visit their website at www.stopaddiction.com.