Keep prescription meds safe, hidden from possible theft
Our Agency recently developed a flyer with our friends at Compass Community Health/The Counseling Center on tips for keeping your medications safe. Sadly, crimes involving prescription medications are a reality. It's important to follow the practice of not sharing information with others -- of course outside of trusted caregivers, family members, friends and medical personnel -- concerning the types of medications one is taking, especially if it involves any kind of pain medications.
It's always good to keep in mind the following important pointers for when you are home or away, or if you or someone you know takes medications on a regular basis.
When you are home:
If using mail-order medications, set up a Post Office Box instead of home delivery.
Do a pill count regularly to ensure none are missing.
Keep medications in a locked area or locked box out of sight and in a safe place. Avoid leaving them on the kitchen table or in front of a window.
Only share information about the types of medications you are taking with trusted family members, trusted friends, trusted caregivers, and your medical team, especially any type of pain medication.
Install a dead bolt or chain lock on doors, and consider a home security system or door alarm if necessary.
Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know with whom you are dealing.
When you are away:
When going out while carrying medications, try to go with family and friends. Keep car doors locked; be alert and park near a well-lit entrance.
With your doctor:
Speak with your doctor about whether the medications you are taking have any kind of "street value." If so, perhaps the doctor can prescribe something that would not carry a similar street value. If this isn't possible, you should keep these medications in a secure location and do not relay this information to anyone outside of a trusted caregiver, family member, or friend.
Always ask your medical team for information or education regarding medication safety and drug interactions.
For more information about home and community-based, long-term care options in your community, call our Resource Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 1-800-582-7277. A trained social worker or nurse is available to help connect you with resources that can assist you or someone you know with living safely and independently at home.
Pamela K. Matura is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7.