Georgia Rx Misuse Project

America’s biggest drug problem - it’s in our medicine cabinets. In fact, the CDC declared the U.S. Opioid Epidemic a public health emergency in 2017. It reports that prescription drugs are the cause of more deaths by overdose than illicit drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, and meth.

In response to this epidemic, the Georgia Prevention Project launched the Georgia Rx Misuse Project campaign and continues to work with youth, young adults, and other community partners to save lives.

Did you know??

In 2019, 4.38 billion prescriptions were filled by Americans. This means that accessing prescription drugs can be easy to do in the home, even if the medications weren’t prescribed to the person taking them. Unfortunately, easy access and misperceptions in the risks of misusing Rx drugs has led to increases in overdose deaths. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that 67,300 Americans died in 2018 from drug involved overdoses, equating to 184 deaths every single day.

Polysubstance use is also on the rise as is stimulant misuse. From 2016 to 2018, overdose deaths involving stimulants increased by 44% and recent data shows young people are also misusing these substances. 1 in 17 high school seniors reported past-year nonmedical use of the prescription stimulant Adderall in 2017 and 1 in 5 teens believe it’s ok to misuse a prescription drug, as long as they weren’t doing so to “get high.”

Talking to our family members about only taking a prescription if it is prescribed for You, by a doctor, is a great place to start! Another great way to prevent misuse is to safeguard your home – see the steps below!

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3 Steps to Safeguard Your Home:

Step 1 - Monitor

  • Take note of how many pills are in each of your prescription bottles or pill packets.
  • Keep track of your refills, including those for your teens and other members of the household.
  • If your teen has been prescribed a drug, be sure you control the medication, and monitor dosages and refills.

Step 2 - Secure

  • Take prescription meds out of the medicine cabinet and hide them in a place only you know about.
  • If possible, keep all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet your teen cannot access.
  • Tell relatives, especially grandparents, to lock their meds or keep them in a safe place.

Step 3 - Dispose

  • Discard expired or unused prescription drugs, when your teens are not home.
  • Dispose of your meds at drop box locations at your local police department or sheriff’s office. For dropbox locations near you, visit
  • If a drop box location isn’t available to you: throw away medications, but first mix the meds with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
  • Do not flush medication down the drain or toilet.
  • To help prevent unauthorized refills and protect your privacy, remove any personal, identifiable information from prescription bottles before you throw them away.

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