According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 115 people in the United States each day die from opioid overdose. The misuse of these drugs affects not only those prescribed to them, but to everyone else in our communities, too. In fact, PBS News states that more than half of adults who misuse opioids don’t have a prescription for them, as a national survey revealed that many people are obtaining these drugs from a friend or relative. For people who have serious medical conditions or injuries that do not respond to any treatment besides pain relievers, monitoring and storing are crucial steps to ensuring these drugs do not get into the wrong hands.
If you’re concerned about your family’s safety with opioid use, the following are some safety measures you can take:
- Stay active in family life. By engaging in family activities, you can set a good example while staying aware of what’s going on in your family.
- Keep lines of communication open. Building trust and rapport with your children is crucial to opening a pathway for them to talk to you about thoughts or questions concerning drug use.
- Store prescription medication safely. Store your medication in a safe location, preferably where your other family members will not easily be able to gain access to it.
- Dispose of any unused medications. When you no longer need your medication, mix them with dirt, kitty litter, coffee grounds, or something else that would make it hard for a person to sift through once thrown away. Scratch out all information on the bottle and put it in a plastic bag before throwing it away. Another option is to turn it in to a medicine take-back program most often hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
- Monitor your child’s internet use for websites that sell counterfeit or other dangerous drugs. Set blocks for certain websites that could make it easy for your children to obtain illegal drugs and prescription medications.
By taking preventative measures, you are increasing the chances of protecting your loved ones from accidental misuse, abuse, or overdose. Always speak with someone from a reputable treatment center if you believe you or a family member is struggling with opioid addiction. Recovery is possible.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.