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Grand Nation Inc.

A nonprofit grassroots coalition helping people of all ages receive assistance while providing them with the necessary skills to make the change they seek.

Grand Nation Inc.
Primary Location
123 South Wilson Street
Vinita, OK 74301
2 Locations >
Grand Nation Recovery Support Center
118 S Scraper

Vinita, OK 74301
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Rx Drug Safety

Protect Yourself and Those Around You

Rx Drug Safety
Understanding the potential risks and how to take, store and dispose of powerful medications like opioids properly can help avoid serious risks.

Did you know that one person dies every 20 minutes from an opioid overdose?

In fact, prescription drug overdoses kill more Oklahomans than motor vehicle crashes. And, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, prescription painkillers (opioids) are the most common class of drugs involved in overdose deaths in Oklahoma.

When prescribed and used appropriately for short periods of time, opioid medications are generally safe and useful for managing acute pain. However, extended use can lead to dependence and/or addiction, and not taking them as prescribed can result in serious side effects, including overdose and death.

Understanding the potential risks and how to take, store and dispose of these powerful medications properly can help avoid serious risks. Following the simple tips below can help keep you and your family safe:

Tips for Safe Use of Prescription Pain Medications

When prescribed a new medication, make sure your doctor is aware of all other medications you take.

  • Read any instructions you are given regarding your prescription drugs.
  • Take your prescription drugs as prescribed on the label.
  • Only take medications prescribed to you.
  • Follow the doctors advice regarding your prescription.
  • Never take more than the prescribed amount.
  • Talk with your doctor regarding any tolerance you may have built up to your prescription.
  • Never share or sell your prescription drugs.

Proper Storage and Disposal

  • Medicine that is not properly secured could:
  • be taken or stolen from the home by someone for whom it is not intended.
  • be damaged by being stored in an unsuitable place.
  • inadvertently poison children or pets.

Safe Storage Guidelines

  • Organize and keep careful track of prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Keep stronger medicines separate from items more commonly found in medicine cabinets.
  • Store prescription medications out of sight and out of reach of infants, children, teens and pets or anyone who might misuse them.
  • Keep all prescription drugs in the original bottle or container. The label on the bottle provides important information about the medicine such as who it is prescribed for and the date it was dispensed.
  • Never mix medications in the same bottle.
  • Store medications in a safe or in a secure cabinet. As outlined by the National Safety Council, opioid medications need to be stored securely, preferably locked up just the way you would if you keep a firearm in your home.
  • Monitor the use of prescription medications by keeping a count of the number of pills you have left in each bottle.
  • Install a lock on medicine cabinets or use a locking medicine safe which has been properly installed. Return medication to the secure location after every use and avoid leaving medication or pill containers on countertops, tables or nightstands in open view where they can be easily accessed by others.
  • Do not store your medications, especially opioids, in places that allow easy access to your pills, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
  • Do not keep loose pills in easily opened plastic bags or containers in your purse, luggage or office drawer. Locking travel cases are available to carry prescription medicines.


Safe Disposal Guidelines

  • Whenever possible, take advantage of community medication take-back drives that allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal.
  • Take expired, unwanted or unused medicines to permanent medication drop box locations at participating law enforcement agencies. See list of local drop box locations at right.
  • If there is no take-back location in your area, most medications can be thrown away in the household trash following these steps:
  1. Remove the drugs from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. This makes the drug less appealing to children and  pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs.
  2. Put the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or spilling out.
  3. Throw the container in the garbage.
  4. Scratch out all identifying information on the empty medicine packaging and prescription label to make it unreadable and protect your identity and privacy. Throw the packaging away.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or drain.


More information can be found the Think SMART Oklahoma website,

Think SMART Oklahoma is sponsored by Community Action Network, which receives funding via the Strategic Prevention Framework Partnerships for Success and Rx Grants provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).