Prescription opioid (narcotic) drug abuse now claims more lives than guns and car accidents. Over 15,000 people die every year from an overdose of prescription narcotic pain medications.
At Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, controlling your child’s pain is important to us! Uncontrolled pain can be harmful and delay healing. Sometimes we use medications, but many times, narcotic pain medicines are NOT needed to control pain. Some pain medicine combinations can be dangerous and even deadly, such as narcotics and muscle relaxants (like Valium or Ativan). In some cases, pain medicines can lead to addiction. Only use pain medicines as directed by your doctor. Ask your doctor to explain how your child’s pain is being taken care of in words you understand.
Extra or unused pain medicines can put children in danger and be deadly. Prescription pain medicines may cause addiction or even death if taken without doctor’s directions. So keep your medicine cabinet safe! Get rid of pain medications that you no longer use!
What can you do to prevent harm from unused medications? You may dispose of extra or expired medicines by dropping them off at a Prescription Drop Box at your local sheriff’s office or following the directions to the right. Please also see the links below.
- Food and Drug Administration: Disposal of Unused Medicines: What You Should Know
- Food and Drug Administration: How to Dispose of Unused Medicines
- American Medical Association: Promote Safe Storage and Disposal of Opioids and All Medications
At Rady Children’s, we have a program for getting rid of any dangerous medications you may have left over in your medicine cabinet. You can find additional takeback locations at the link below.
Drug Rehab Options
California’s 911 Good Samaritan Law provides limited protection from arrest, charge and prosecution for people who seek emergency medical assistance at the scene of a suspected drug overdose. For emergencies, call 911.
Opioid and Drug Abuse Resources
Healthychildren.org (American Academy of Pediatrics):
- The Opioid Epidemic: How to Protect Your Family
- Is Your Child Vulnerable to Substance Abuse?
- Drug Abuse Prevention Starts with Parents
- Home Drug Testing: Information for Parents
- Prescription Pain Medicine & Heroin: The Link Parents Need to Know
- ADHD and Substance Abuse: The Link Parents Need to Know
- AAP Policy Statement: Substance Use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment for Pediatricians
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Department of Health and Human Services:
- About the Epidemic: The U.S. Opioid Epidemic
- Help, Resources and Information: National Opioids Crisis