Red Rock RPC encourages public to safely store medications

If medicine isn't stored properly, consequences could be serious

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Julia Cochran

The Red Rock Regional Prevention Coordinator (RPC) Program wants Canadian County residence to be aware of the importance of safely storing medications.

According to Oklahoma’s Prescription for Change website, in 2016, enough opioids were prescribed in Oklahoma for every adult to have more than 100 pills, which means there are many medications that are potentially not being safely stored.

According to the 2018 Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment Survey, over 60% of seniors in Canadian County reported obtaining a prescription drug in order to get high from a friend. Safeguarding prescription medicine properly is easy once you know what to do, and it’s important for the health and safety of your family and others who come into your home.

If medicine is not stored properly, there can be serious consequences:

  • The medicine may get into the wrong hands if a family member or visitor takes it without your knowledge. They may use it incorrectly to try to treat a medical condition — or worse, they may abuse it.
  • Heat, humidity, or changes in temperature may damage the medicine.1
  • Children or pets may be accidentally poisoned by ingesting easily accessible medicine.

Here some Do’s and Don’ts of safely storing your prescriptions according to Safeguard My Meds:

  • DO store medicines in a cool, dry place
  • DO lock up medicines that are at risk for being abused-ask your pharmacist or other healthcare professional if the prescription medicine prescribed to you or a household member has abuse potential
  • DO store medicines in original containers – the label on the bottle provides important information about the medicine such as who it is prescribed for and the date it was dispensed
  • DO keep track of how many pills you have
  • DO properly discard medicines that are no longer needed or expired
  • DON’T leave medicines in places that are easily accessible to children
  • DON’T repackage medicine in unmarked containers
  • DON’T leave medicines that are at risk of being abused in plain sight or in places that aren’t secure

For more information on how to safely dispose of unused or unwanted medications, call Red Rock RPC Director Julia Cochran at 422-8872.

Red Rock Regional Prevention Coordinator (Region 13) grant is funded by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, SAMHSA, and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.