Managing your medications safely

Dr. Garrett here!  If you have ever been prescribed, or are going to receive in the future, an opioid pain killer (or narcotic), there are some important things to consider.  While these medications can be very effective in treating your pain, they also pose a risk to you, your loved ones, and others if not properly attended to.  Poisoning deaths from opioid medications increased dramatically from 1999 to 2006.  Also, you you may be unaware of the prevalence of prescription opioid abuse in high school students.  6% of 12th graders have used prescription pain killers for recreation within the last 30 days.  Often these are medications found unsecured in their family medicine cabinet.

So what can you do?

1. Take all medications as they are prescribed.  If you feel the need for more than you have been prescribed, please speak with your doctor.

2. Secure all medications so that no one has access to them but you.  They can be locked in a medicine lock box or a locked cabinet.

3. If you have medications left over, please dispose of them safely.  This can prevent them from being used by anyone other than you.  The follwing are drop off locations available to you in Thurston County:

-Lacey PD 

-Thurston County Sheriff’s

-Rainier City Hall

-City of Tenino

-Tumwater PD

-Yelm PD



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