Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription 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 healingSometimes we use medications, but many times, narcotic pain medications 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, painkillers 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 medications can put children in danger and be deadly. Prescription pain medications 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.

Below are resources to help you learn:

  • How to keep your home safe
  • What to do with leftover medications
  • What to do in case of an overdose or the recognition of addiction

Opioid Internet Resources

Prescription Drug Abuse

What Are Opioids?

Why Are Opioids Dangerous? 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Department of Health and Human Services

Keeping Your Home Safe

Takeback Programs 

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.

Alternative Pain Management 

Opioids should only be taken when other forms pain management are not effective.