In the wrong hands, prescription pain meds can be deadly. For this reason, people who have prescriptions for these drugs should keep them in a secured location. Kids are especially susceptible to the dangers of opiates and can die if they ingest them.
In July, police charged a man and woman in Port Charlotte, Florida, with aggravated manslaughter after their son died from a lethal dose of oxycodone. Reportedly, the couple called police after finding the boy unresponsive. Toxic levels of oxycodone were found in his blood and authorities have said the couple had been snorting opiates the night before the accident.
Who Is At Risk?
There are some opiate-based medications, such as Actiq, which are meant to treat serious pain and not for people who aren’t already tolerant of opiates. Even if someone can tolerate lower dosages of opiates, higher milligram medications can lead to overdose or death.
Medication mix-ups are possible, so it’s important for patients to leave their meds in the original, labeled containers. Having too many pill bottles in one location can lead to confusion and double dosing. Locking up medication can also provide a measure of security, especially in homes where there are children, pets and the elderly.
Keep Your Personal Prescription Information To Yourself
It may also be wise for people who are taking these medications to keep that information to themselves. The demand for medications such as OxyContin has never been higher. People who are in the throes of opiate addiction are often desperate, willing to do just about anything to get their hands on these drugs.
Drug-related crimes have been soaring in recent years, as addicts feel backed into a corner to prevent the onset of opiate withdrawal that comes when they stop taking these drugs. Police blotters are filled with tales of copper theft, personal property theft and breaking and entering.
You could be putting yourself, your family and your home at risk by leaving unsecured meds lying around – and telling people about them. It’s better to be safe and take these precautions up front. You don’t want to end up the target of a desperate opiate addict.
Beware Of The People Closest To You
It’s unfortunate, but young people are abusing prescription painkillers and heroin at alarming rates. Most of the time, they are able to get their hands on prescription drugs by raiding the medicine cabinets of their parents and friends’ parents.
Young people call this practice “pharming” and may share your prescription drugs with their friends. Parties that center around painkiller abuse have become more common among young people. They may mix opiates with alcohol, benzodiazepines or illegal drugs to bolster their “high.” Keeping your medications out of their hands can protect them and you. It’s also wise to properly dispose of old meds you have lying around the house. Many communities have drug take-back events to prevent the wrong people from accessing them.