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  Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem. 1 out of every 6 high school students is taking prescription drugs without a doctorís order. If someone is taking prescription medication that is not prescribed to them, or they are taking it in a manner other than prescribed, it is AGAINST THE LAW. It is also considered PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE.

  To prevent the spread of prescription drug abuse, letís begin by preventing the theft of your prescription medications. Keep all your medications out of sight and in a secure and dry place, such as in a lockbox OUTSIDE THE BATHROOM. Bathrooms are dangerous places to store your unlocked medications because you canít see someone stealing your pills if the door is closed and locked for privacy reasons. Never let a stranger in your home to use your bathroom, and donít allow strangers to enter your home if they claim to work for a water or utility company or theyíre a self-employed caregiver. Always verify their claim by calling the company directly and verifying that the company actually has a service call. Make sure they present their photo ID. If itsí a caregiver, make sure he or she is registered and bonded with the State of New Hampshire Secretary of State.

  Count and keep track of every pill in your bottles to make sure someone isnít stealing a pill here and there. Dispose of any unused or expired medications safely by participating in a Drug Take Back Program. Or, you can crush and mix all unused drugs in an undesirable substance such as vinegar, used coffee grounds, or cat litter. Never flush unused prescription medications down the toilet or drains as that causes environmental hazards. Remove any personal information on the container by covering it completely with a black permanent marker, or scratching off the entire label and destroying it with a shredder.

  Misuse of drugs impacts families, friends, and the entire community. We can play a significant role in prescription drug abuse PREVENTION by keeping all medicines locked and secured in a secret location outside the bathroom, and making sure we have the correct number of pills in the container at all times.

From the desk of Officer Jane Constant
Senior Relations Division
Nashua Police Department

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