Preventing Prescription Drug Overdoses

Prescription drug overdoses can be prevented by communicating calmly and clearly about their potential dangers, encouraging positive behaviors, and setting limits. Parents are often concerned about whether their children will start or have started using drugs. The Family Checkup is a resource that can help parents prevent drug abuse.


The Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Toolkit was developed to combat the rising number of prescription pain medication overdoses in the Downtown Ogden area. In addition to local and national data, the kit includes information on: effective state policies; signs and symptoms of abuse; prevention tips for community leaders, parents, schools, health care providers, and law enforcement; recommendations for the safe use, storage, and disposal of medications; how to work with the media; and a list of Ogden-area resources such as locations of permanent drop-off sites and substance abuse treatment centers.


Another critical feature is a wallet-sized card that explains what to do in case of an overdose and how to administer naloxone, a lifesaving rescue medication that can immediately reverse opioid overdoses.


The Use Only As Directed media and education campaign is designed to prevent and reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription pain medications in Utah by providing information and strategies regarding safe use, safe storage, and safe disposal of these potentially dangerous drugs.

Safe Use

  • Never take prescription medication that is not prescribed to you.
  • Never take your prescription medications more often or in higher doses than prescribed.
  • Never drink alcohol beverages while taking prescription pain medications.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs – to include legally prescribed or over-the-counter medications – is not only dangerous, it is illegal.
  • Never share your prescription medications with anyone.
  • Taking prescription pain medications with other depressants such as sleep aids, anti-anxiety medications, or cold medicine can be dangerous.
  • Properly dispose of all unused and expired prescription medications.
  • Tell your healthcare provider about ALL medicines and supplements you take.

Safe Storage

  • Store prescription medications out of reach of kids, family, and guests.
  • Know where your prescription medications are at all times.
  • Keep prescription pills in the original bottles with the labels attached, and with the child-resistant cap secured.
  • Keep track of how many prescription pills are in your bottle so you are immediately aware if any are missing.
  • Dispose of all unused and expired prescription medications properly. Proper storage and disposal of all medications is essential to health and safety.”

Safe Disposal

For safe disposal of medications in Utah, find a permanent collection site by using the Safe Disposal: Drop-off Locator. Learn the facts about Safe Disposal.

Safe Disposal at Home

  • Do not flush, do not pour!
  • Take prescription drugs out of original containers.
  • Crush and mix all unused drugs with an undesirable substance such as used (wet) coffee grounds, moist unused cat little, spoiled food.
  • Throw container in the trash can on the same day the trash is collected. This extra safety measure can help prevent accidental overdose by children and pets.
  • Conceal, remove, and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them away.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse, Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse