Keeping unused and expired prescription pain relievers in our homes imposes a serious health risk for our teens and children. In fact, adolescents who misused prescription pain relievers got them from a friend or a relative. We are responsible for safeguarding our medications to prevent access and other harmful exposures to our children. One way to minimize the risk of exposure is to safely dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused medication at a local medication drop box, mail-back program or use FDA’s recommended home disposal. If you cannot find a collector near you, try these next steps from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens.

For more information on preventing non-medical use of prescription drugs, visit

For 24/7 free and confidential information and treatment referrals, call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the SAMHSA Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator at

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