1 in 4 people who take a prescription opioid pain medication may become dependent or addicted.

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75% of people dependent on opioids started with doctor prescribed pain pills.

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12 Questions to Ask Your DoctorPrint out this list of questions to bring to your next appointment as a starting point when talking to your doctor

Practice Safe Medication Use

Take medicines ONLY as prescribed.

  •  Keep a current list of your medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and dietary/herbal supplements. Bring your up-to-date medicine list to all of your medical and pharmacy visits. [LINK TO FORM as Photo]
  • Keep opioids and all other medicines in a safe place, out of the reach of children. Keep your medicines in a secure, preferably locked place.
  • Never give away or share your medicines with others.
  • Never mix pain medicines with alcohol, sleeping pills, or any illicit substance.
  • Review your medicines every six months and properly dispose of all expired, unused or unwanted medicines as soon as possible.
  • Find the disposal location in your area.
  • Prevent an Overdose
  • Carry Naloxone

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.

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.

General Infographic
Safe Storage Infographic
Safe Medication Storage & Disposal VideoShort ~90 second video detailing procedures for safe medication disposal and storage techniques.
Safe Medication Storage & Disposal Video – SpanishShort ~90 second video detailing procedures for safe medication disposal and storage techniques. Medicamento Seguro Almacenamiento y Desecho
Pedicure Video15 second video of feet getting pedicures, open pill bottle on table, white text. Black background with white logo.
HSD Cinema White Car Video15 second short video, white background with animated orange pills. Black and orange text showing "1 in 4" statistic as related to white car ownership.