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Preventing Misuse

Prescription drug misuse can have serious medical consequences. Increases in prescription drug misuse over the last 15 years are reflected in increased emergency room visits, overdose deaths associated with prescription drugs, and treatment admissions for prescription drug use disorders, the most severe form of which is an addiction.

Misuse or “nonmedical use” of prescription drugs means:

  • Taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed
  • Taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain
  • Taking a medication to feel euphoria (i.e., to get high)

The three classes of medication most commonly misused are:

  • Opioids – Usually prescribed to treat pain
  • Central Nervous System Depressants – Used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders (includes tranquilizers, sedatives, & hypnotics)
  • Stimulants – Most often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Learn the Safety Guidelines

Do your part to protect yourself and your loved ones by safely using, storing, and disposing of prescription medications.

Tips for Preventing Prescription Misuse