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How can I help prevent prescription painkiller abuse?

Dr. Howard J. Shaffer, PhD
Addiction Medicine Specialist
The following rules can help prevent misuse of prescription medications:
  • Keep your doctor informed about all the medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs.
  • Take your medication only as prescribed.
  • Read the information provided by your pharmacist before taking your medications.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about your medication, especially if you are unsure about its effects.
  • When using medications that have the potential for abuse, throw away any unused pills once the condition for which they were prescribed resolves.

To prevent overdoses of prescription painkillers, individuals can:

  • Use prescription painkillers only as directed by a health care provider.
  • Make sure they are the only one to use their prescription painkillers. Not selling or sharing them with others helps prevent misuse and abuse.
  • Store prescription painkillers in a secure place and dispose of them properly.
  • Get help for substance abuse problems if needed (1-800-662-HELP).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.