Ohio Department of Education Topic News

Know! To Safeguard Your Home for the Holidays


You happily agreed to host this year’s holiday gathering. You have the house beautifully decorated, the dinner table is set, and your many guests are arriving. You have everything in place and your celebration appears to be nicely unfolding, as planned.

ThinkstockPhotos-175260441.jpgBut what about the young lady who just disappeared into the upstairs bathroom, where you keep your prescription medications? She now has full access to your prescriptions stored in the medicine cabinet. That wasn’t part of the plan.

Should you be concerned? Yes. Here’s why: Prescription meds now rank in the top three most popular drugs of choice among youth, just after marijuana and alcohol. Statistics reveal that ONE in FOUR teens have misused or abused prescription drugs. 70 percent of those teens say they obtained their drugs from a friend or relative.

Is there something you can do to prevent this from actually happening in your home? Yes.

Whether it’s the holiday season or any other time of the year, you can automatically limit access and availability of prescription medications in your home (for youth and adults) by taking certain precautions and encouraging your family and friends to do the same.

  1. SECURE: All medications should be safely stored in a lock box, including those that require refrigeration.
  2. MONITOR: It is important to know what’s inside that lock box and to regularly monitor its contents. Take extra care if you store any type of prescription pain medication, as these are the most highly abused drugs.
  3. DISPOSE: Properly disposing of your unused or expired medication is another key to preventing prescription drug abuse. When available, local drug take-back programs are the ideal method to safely dispose of medications.

As you prepare for the holiday season, be sure to include safeguarding your medications as part of the plan. SECURE, MONITOR and properly DISPOSE to limit access and availability in your home and to protect your family and friends.

Click here for more information and resources on preventing the misuse and abuse of prescription medications.

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Return to the Ohio Department of Education’s Start Talking! webpage.

References/Sources: Not In My House. The Generation Rx Initiative.