Safe Medication Use

Tips for safe medication use

  • Take your medications as prescribed and only if needed, and never more than directed by your medical provider.
  • Don’t share your prescription pain medicine or other medications with anyone.
  • Don’t take anyone else’s prescription medication.
  • Keep track of your medication and count the number of pills in the bottle.
  • Ask your pharmacist if you have questions about the ingredients, warnings, directions, interaction with other medication or anything else having to do with your prescription.
  • Never crush pills unless you have been instructed to do so by your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Lock your prescription painkiller and other medications up securely.
  • Safely dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription medications.
  • If you take too large of a dose or accidentally take the wrong medication, call the poison control center immediately at 800-222-1222.

Download 12 questions for your doctor

Storage and disposal tips

  • Keep prescription painkillers in their original labeled containers out of sight and out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf.
  • Keep track of how many pills are left.
  • Having prescription painkillers in your home increases the risk that another person in your household might find them and misuse them, or take them accidentally.
  • Get rid of painkillers that you are no longer using safely. NEVER dispose by flushing down the toilet because it can harm the drinking water supply.

Where can I dispose of my medications?

To find the nearest take back location near you, type in your zip code here

To see an infographic with up-to-date information, city-by-city and statewide, click here.

Or call the New Mexico Poison and Drug Information Center at 1-800-222-1222 

Disposal at home

  • Before disposing of any pills, mark out any personal information on the bottle.
  • Add water to pills to dissolve them.
  • Mix pills or liquid drugs with something that you can’t eat, like cat litter or dirt.
  • Close the lid and secure with duct or packing tape.
  • Place the bottle inside a non-see-through container like a coffee can or detergent bottle.
  • Tape that container closed.
  • Hide the container in the trash. Do not put in the recycle bin.

© 2018 COPYRIGHT DOSE OF REALITY NEW MEXICO. NEW MEXICO HUMAN SERVICES DEPARTMENT, BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES DIVISION, OFFICE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION (OSAP)