Prescription drugs can be dangerous

Did you know 20 percent of Americans, ages 12 and older, have admitted to using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons? People are abusing prescription medications for a number of reasons: to get high, fall asleep, wake up, or deal with stress.

Many people believe because prescription medications are legal, they are safer than their illicit counterparts. However, when misused or abused, they can be just as dangerous, leading to consequences ranging from poor judgment, confusion and depression, to things like high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and even death.

Fifty-six percent of people who have used prescription medications non-medically say they obtain these drugs from friends and relatives (NSDUH 2008), meaning these drugs are freely shared or taken from medicine cabinets or other easily accessible places.

So, how do we protect the rights of those who need prescription drugs to treat pain and other medical conditions, while also preventing the abuse of these medications? There are three simple steps: Lock up your medications; track you medication quantities; and properly dispose of unused medications.

On April 27, law enforcement throughout Hamilton, Fulton and Montgomery counties took part in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s sixth annual Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Throughout the three counties, a total of 545 pounds of unused medications were collected – making this one of the most successful Take Back Days to date.

The next Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

ASAPP’s Promise also is currently working to establish a permanent prescription drug disposal location in Fulton County. In the meantime, here are some permanent drop-off locations:

Herkimer Police Department, 120 Green St., Herkimer;

New York State Troopers, Troop G, Latham, 760 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham;

Town of Waterford Police Department, 65 Broad St., Waterford.

For more information about prescription drug abuse and proper disposal of medications, visit and watch our video.