What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet?
Ready for a deep clean of your bathroom, but not sure where to start? Take a look behind the mirror.
Minnesotans filled more than 60 million prescriptions at retail pharmacies in 2015. Chances are, if you open your medicine cabinet you’ll find some old orange bottles.
It’s very important to be aware of the potential dangers of keeping these old pills, particularly narcotic painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.
What dangers are hiding in your family’s bathroom? Find out by following two fictional patients in Faribault, MN: Emily and Ben.
Ben and Emily arrive at the emergency room.
Ben and Emily recover.
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Ben and Emily clean their medicine cabinets.
Ben and Emily’s families visit.
Emily’s story may sound like an after school special, but here are the facts:
- 70 percent of people who have misused prescription pain relievers got them first from friends or relatives. One in five teens has used prescription medication to get high.
- Over a five-year period between 2009 and 2014, the number of opioid-related emergency room visits in Minnesota doubled.
- Nearly 400 Minnesotans died last year as a result of opioid overdoses; the opioid crisis kills more Minnesotans than car crashes.
Keep yourself, your friends and family safe — check the bottles in your cabinet and safely dispose of unneeded medications.
Where to dispose of unneeded medication
If you throw your unused opioid prescriptions in the trash, you run the risk that someone will find them and misuse them. Fortunately for Minnesotans, there are currently more than 240 medication collection boxes located at hospitals, law enforcement facilities, and pharmacies in our state. Many locations accept controlled substances, which include narcotic painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.
Be aware that not all prescription drug collection sites accept controlled substances. To find a take-back location that accepts controlled substances near you, click here.
These collection sites do not charge any disposal fees.