Opioids are medicines used for pain. Abuse of opioids by children and teens has tripled in the last 15 years. This handout lists ways to keep your family and friends safe.

Taking Your Medicine

An adult must closely watch a child or teen taking opioids. The adult should check that it is the right drug, the right amount, and the right time.

An adult must keep track of extra medicine to avoid abuse by family members or guests in the home. Keep a count and make a plan for taking it.

Do not share or sell leftover opioids. It is not legal or safe!


Opioids should be stored in the package it came in and kept in a locked cabinet or box. This can be a locked medicine box or as simple as a padlock on a tackle box, in the locked gun safe, or a locked jewelry case.


If not locked up, a child or teen could consume the opioids on accident, overdose or steal them. Most teens know where medicines are hidden in the home.

How to Safely Get Rid of Opioids

Do not keep extra opioids at home! Get rid of them by taking them to a drug take back pharmacy or drop off site. Get rid of them as soon as you no longer need them.


To find safe drop off sites

If you can’t take medicine to a drop off site, mix them with coffee grounds or cat litter. Put it in a sealed container in the trash. You could also flush them down the toilet.