Prevent Rx Abuse

Welcome to NCPA’s Prevent Prescription Abuse homepage, providing resources, tools, and educational materials for pharmacists and patients related to the topic of medication abuse and misuse. Community pharmacists can play an integral role in curtailing the critical public health issue of prescription drug abuse and educating consumers on proper medication use. As one of the most accessible and trusted health care providers, community pharmacists recognize the importance of addressing the serious and growing problem of prescription drug diversion and abuse. NCPA encourages community pharmacists to commit themselves to supporting national and local efforts to prevent the misuse and abuse of both prescription and non-prescription medications.

When used as directed, prescription medicine can play a critical role in treating a range of medical conditions. With the power of prescription medicines comes great responsibility for their use and storage. That is why NCPA has partnered with Purdue Pharma to launch Safeguard My Meds, an education initiative that offers information on simple yet important steps that can be taken in the home to protect prescription medicine from misuse. Actress and parent advocate Catherine Hicks of the TV show "7th Heaven" recently joined NCPA Executive Committee member and Gloucester Pharmacy owner Keith Hodges to discuss the issue.

As medication experts, community pharmacists can play a major role in reversing this trend. Encourage your patients to talk to you about how to store, use and dispose of prescription medicine properly. In particular, help your patients understand the ways to safeguard prescription medicines. For instance, medicines at greater risk of being abused—such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and depressants—should be kept in locked storage containers. These medicines are targets for theft, so extra precautions should be taken. Other measures include taking an inventory of prescription medicines in the home at least twice a year; storing medicines in a cool, dry place out of the reach of children and pets; and never sharing prescription medicine with anyone else. NCPA has been long-time partners with Purdue Pharma on issues of drug safety, including our partnership on the Protect Your Pharmacy Now! anti-crime campaign as well as the Prescription Drug Safety Award, which recognizes pharmacists who have reached out in their communities to provide education on the benefits of the correct use of prescription drug products and the hazards associated with their misuse. We're proud to work with them on Safeguard My Meds and look forward to offering our members increased information and resources as a result of this partnership.

Safeguard My Meds Pt. 1

Safeguard My Meds Pt. 2

Additional information on safe medicine storage, along with a variety of downloadable print, video and online materials with valuable tips can be found at


You already know about the problem, the myths, the consequences. You know that prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic among teens and college students. You know that unintentional prescription drug poisoning has emerged as the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States and that many (teens and adults) still believe that prescription drugs are non-addictive and “safer” than illegal street drugs. And you know that you can play a critical role in the fight against prescription drug abuse.

As community pharmacists, you can help reverse these trends by educating your patients and communities. And it’s easy. Toolkits have been created to help you make presentations, deliver key messages about the dangers of using medications without a prescription, address frequently asked questions and, in general, raise awareness and encourage conversation between parents, children, teachers and schools, rotaries, PTOs, faith-based organizations, civic and other community groups.

No one knows your patients better than you do. They trust and respect you as a healthcare expert. Help them understand how they can also prevent prescription drug abuse by talking with their friends and families – you may even find opportunities to partner! Outreach and education can build a loyal customer base and position you as a leader in your community.

The National Community Pharmacists Association is committed to helping spread the word and we encourage you to get involved, too. Visit to download your “presentation in a box” and other resources to help you learn more about the issue and how to take a stand against it.

Be more in your community. Help stop prescription drug abuse.

"As an independent pharmacist, being involved in the community can, and usually does, reap enormous benefits,” says pharmacist Scott Podolan, NCPA member and owner of County Line Professional Pharmacy. “I would say that all pharmacists who have made the decision to own their own pharmacy are individuals that truly want to help people. Some of the most successful pharmacist/owners I know are very heavily involved in the community." provides information and resources to help curb the abuse of prescription medications, while making sure these medicines remain available for appropriate medical use.

Pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma L.P. has developed to provide information on programs initiated by the company and organizations with which it is partnering to help deter medication misuse and abuse.

These initiatives – which are consistent with the elements outlined in the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan recently announced by the Office of National Drug Control Policy - support the education of healthcare professionals and consumers, the monitoring and tracking of prescription medication, the proper storage and disposal of prescription medications and the appropriate and effective enforcement of existing laws and regulations governing the use of opioid analgesic medications.

Through RxSafetyMatters, health care professionals can access educational materials, including the newly released Addressing Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) DVD. This educational resource is designed to increase awareness of the scope of substance and medication abuse, assist in recognizing and preventing abuse of medications and other substances, and aid in the referral of individuals with substance abuse problems to an appropriate treatment program.

Families and community organizations can learn about the signs and symptoms of drug abuse, view tips for safe storage and disposal of medications, and access educational resources geared to parents and family members.

Law enforcement and government officials can also access educational materials and technical assistance from Purdue's Law Enforcement Liaison and Education Program and from national law enforcement and anti-diversion organizations such as the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, Inc. - to help their efforts to investigate and deter diversion of pharmaceutical products.

For more information, visit

Ask Your Family Pharmacist TM