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Crime Prevention

An Ounce of Prevention

Having prescriptions drugs unsecured is just as dangerous as having a loaded gun in your home. Lock the lid on prescription and over-the-counter drugs getting into the wrong hands.

Prescription (Rx) drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medications commonly found in homes has become a significant problem for teens and young adults. Lock the lid on Rx and OTC drugs getting into the wrong hands.

  • 3/4 of people age 45 or older take an average of four prescription medications daily. (American Association of Retired Persons, AARP, 2009).
  • Teens are abusing prescription drugs because they believe the myth that these drugs provide a medically safe high (Teens and Prescription Drugs—Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2007).
  • Next to marijuana, prescription medications are the most common illegal drug used by teens to get high (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, SAMHSA, 2009).
  • 70% of the Rx pain medications illegally used by teens were obtained from a relative or friend (Monitoring the Future National Survey, 2008).
  • 75% of the 4,000 calls annually received by the New York City Poison Control Center requiring medical treatment involve children younger than 5 years of age (NYC Poison Control Center, 2007).
  • The most recent Minnesota Student Survey indicated an increase in the number of 12th graders using prescription drugs to get high (Minnesota Student Survey, 2007).
  • The number of teens going into treatment for addiction to prescription pain relievers has increased by more than 300% between 1996–2006 (Treatment Episode Data Source, TEDS, 2006).
  • Abuse of prescription drugs for the first time before age 16 often leads to a greater risk of chemical dependency in later life (SAMHSA, 2006).
  • It is a felony to intentionally give your own or anyone else’s prescription medication to another person.


Resources are available at www.drugfree.org.  

Last updated: 11/12/2012 10:27 AM