Prescription Drug Misuse… How Common is It?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse For Teens, alcohol and marijuana are the two most commonly misused substances by young Americans. This is why many community prevention programs and events are geared towards educating students and their parents on these substances and their effects.

Over the years, prescription drug misuse and abuse has also become increasingly common, now holding the spot as the 3rd most commonly misused substances by Americans ages 14 and older. Behaviors considered to be misuse of prescription drugs include taking your medication in a way other than what was prescribed, taking someone else’s prescription to self-medicate an illness or condition, and taking a prescription medication to get high. Prescription drug types at the greatest risk of misuse are as follows:

  • Opioids– Pain medications used for relief after surgeries or injuries. Examples include Codeine, Vicodin, and OxyContin.
  • Depressants– Medications used to slow activity in the brain and spinal cord to relieve conditions such as anxiety and insomnia. Examples include Valium and Xanax.
  • Stimulants– Medications which boost alertness, attention, and energy by increasing processes in the body. Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin are most commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

Safely disposing unused or expired medication from your household is an integral part of helping reduce prescription medication abuse in our community. The Bedford, Lewisboro and Pound Ridge police departments each have locked and secured collection boxes where medications can be dropped off 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 461153-414941dec64dab9cc1bfa68052466cc2

For more information and additional locations which have MedReturn boxes available, click here.