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Safely Use, Store, and Dispose of Prescription Medications

80% of those who use heroin started by misusing prescription pain medications, often led there by curiosity and availability. You can help address the heroin and opiate crisis in our community by starting with your own medicine cabinet. Below are tips for how to safely use, store, and dispose of prescription medications.

Safe Use:

  • Use medications exactly as prescribed.
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • Never “double up” on a dose.
  • Do not stop your medication without consulting with your doctor.
  • Only use medication prescribed to you.
  • Never share medications.
  • Never take someone else’s medications.

Safe Storage:

  • Always lock up your medications.
  • Keep medications away from children and pets.
  • Medications should remain in the bottle in which they came.
  • Immediately dispose of expired or unused medication.
  • Keep track of how many pills are in medication bottles.

Safe Disposal:

  • Drop off unused medications at police stations or pharmacies that participate in take back programs. Click here for locations.
  • Medications can be mixed in with used coffee grounds or kitty litter and thrown away.
  • For simple, at-home disposal, get a free drug disposal pouch.
  • In an emergency, flush medications down the toilet.

Find a drop-off location, or order a disposal bag.

Opioid Overdoses Don’t Have to Be Fatal

Narcan is an emergency overdose reversal medication that anyone in Missouri can legally purchase and possess. When administered properly, it can instantly revive someone who is experiencing an overdose and buy time until medical help arrives. Narcan can be purchased at some pharmacies without a prescription. NCADA also has a supply of Narcan which is available for free. If you need Narcan, please call (314) 962-3456 and schedule a time to meet with one of our counselors. You will receive brief training about how to use Narcan, and two doses, all at no-cost to you.


Call 314-962-3456 or send an e-mail request to info@ncada-stl.org.

If you suspect someone is experiencing an overdose, administer Narcan and call 911 immediately.

For more information about how you can take action to address the heroin and opiate crisis in our community, such as advocacy, volunteer opportunities, or to request a speaker, visit our Curiosity+Heroin website.

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