Safe Kids Worldwide suggests talking to your kids about medication safety. Teach that medicine should always be given by an adult and don’t refer to it as candy. Model responsible medication behavior by storing medicine out of reach, reading drug facts and prescription labels, and always follow the recommended dose.
As your children get older, you can educate your pre-teen and teens on how to read labels and what they mean. Also, check in with your older children about the medicine they are taking regularly. Even kids who may take meds daily can make errors in dose or frequency.
Another way to ensure our children’s health and safety is to take care of ourselves. Here are some preventative steps you can take:
1- Steer Clear of Opioids
- According to the CDC, there are safer approaches that may be more effective for pain management. Ask your doctor about the alternatives.
2- Avoid Taking More
- Opioids aren’t like antibiotics. You do not need to finish your prescription. As soon as you don’t need them, stop, or you could be at risk of dependency, addiction, or overdose.
3- Never Share Pain Killers
- By sharing your prescription, you may think you are helping, but you could be leading someone down a dangerous path. Besides, sharing prescriptions is illegal.
4- Get Rid of Unused Meds
- Don’t keep leftover pills you don’t need. Dispose of them properly at a secure drop box location in your area. Find one near you at useonlyasdirected.org.
5- Reach Out
- Addiction is a disease that needs treatment. Talk to your kids about the dangers. Talk to friends who may be struggling. Talk to a loved one if YOU need help.
6- Carry Naloxone
- If you or someone you know is taking opioids, their life is at risk. Keep naloxone close and know the signs of an overdose.
If you would rather drop your leftover medications off at a safe site, check out these locations to dispose of prescription drugs:
For other locations around Utah, click here
For more information about opioid safety please visit useonlyasdirected.org
To find treatment, visit findtreatment.samhsa.gov