There are serious health risks related to abuse of prescription drugs. Taking prescription drugs not prescribed to you, misusing medications or mixing medications with alcohol is unsafe and potentially deadly. Medications commonly abused are painkillers, depressants and stimulants, as well as some over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, primarily cough and cold remedies that contain a cough suppressant. In Maine 12.3% of high school students said they had taken a prescription drug not prescribed to them. Properly safeguarding your medications, by moving them to a place where kids don’t have access and safely disposing of unwanted medications, can help keep kids safe.
- Educating the public on ways to to be “Mindful of Your Meds” – safely securing and disposing of all medications to prevent misuse, abuse, or theft
- Promoting our local “big green boxes” – medication collection boxes purchased for our police departments (Bath, Richmond, Brunswick, Topsham, and Sagadahoc Sheriff’s) allowing year-round disposal of unused medications. View our Disposal Guidelines for more information
- Supporting community-wide medication collection events, occurring twice a year
- Conducting workshops at senior housing facilities to address medication safety
- Drug Screening – Determine risks of drug use and advice about when and where to seek more information, evaluation, and help.
- Maine Medication Collection Sites – A map of law enforcement agencies in Maine that accept unused medications for disposal.
- MaineParents.net – Information for parents to help keep their teens from drug misuse
- Medication Disposal Guidelines – What is accepted at medication collection sites?
- Maine Department of Environmental Protection – guidelines on disposing of sharps safely
- MCH Medication Safety
- The Medicine Abuse Project
- Safe Disposal of Household Sharps
- Safe Disposal of Thermometers
- Student Intervention & Reintegration Program (SIRP) – A 12-hour education program for high school students at risk for alcohol and drug abuse
- Your Teen & Prescription Drugs: What Parents Need to Know – Parent tips on preventing drug misuse.