Prescription Drugs

The Facts

1 in 5 teens have abused prescription drugs

Last year, more teens got high on prescription medicines than cocaine, meth and ecstasy combined.

Nearly one-third of teens (31 percent or 7.3 million)
believe there’s “nothing wrong” with using Rx medicines without a prescription “once in a while”

7 out of the top 11 drugs abused by 12th graders are prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications

They’re accessing these drugs in the comfort of home; it can be as easy as opening a cupboard, drawer, or medicine cabinet.


Where do you store your medicines?  Would you notice if your pills were missing?

  • Be aware of how many pills are in your prescription bottle and keep track of your refills.
  • Monitor your child’s medication and refills
  • Encourage your friends and relatives—especially grandparents—to regularly monitor their own medicine cabinets.


The majority of abusers claim they got the drugs from their friends or relatives, typically without their knowledge.

  • Take prescription medications out of the medicine cabinet and hide them in a place only you know about.
  • Tell relatives, grandparents, and your child’s friends to lock their medications or keep them in a safe place.


Safely disposing of expired or unused prescription medications is a critical step in helping protect your teens.

  • You can dispose of the medications at home. Mix the medication with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. Put the mixture into an empty can or bag or discard in the trash. To help prevent unauthorized refills and protect your and your family’s privacy, remove any personal, identifiable information from prescription bottles or pill packages before you throw them away

For more information on prescription drug abuse, the Northland Coalition recommends these sites:

Rx/OTC Drug Guide
Rx/OTC Drug Facts

Rx/OTC Drop Box Locations:

Twelve prescription drug drop boxes are now available throughout the Northland at the locations listed below!  The community is encouraged to drop any unused, outdated, or unwanted prescription drugs in the box.  There is no paperwork required, just place the medications in the drop box located in the lobby.
The police department will incinerate all collected medications per government recommendations.


Click here to download the Take Back Box flyer with all locations in the Northland.


Additional Resources and Tips from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):

Click here to download a fact sheet about pain management and alternatives to opioids

Click here to download a fact sheet about important drug interactions

Click here to download a fact sheet about ways to talk with your provider

Click here to download a fact sheet about ways to find a provider

Click here for to download a fact sheet on opioid information



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