Portsmouth Ohio

Where Southern Hospitality Begins

Prescription for Prevention: Stop the Epidemic


The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) developed a campaign, known as Prescription for Prevention: Stop the Epidemic, to raise awareness of the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and overdose.




Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in Scioto County and throughout the state of Ohio. Each day, nearly four Ohioans die because of drug-related overdose. In Ohio, since 2007, there have been more deaths from drug overdose than from motor vehicle traffic crashes. At least 140 Scioto County residents died of unintentional drug overdose from 2000 to 2009. That equals 14 deaths each year on average in our county alone amounting to more than two times the state overdose rate.

Prescription pain relievers have been associated with more overdose deaths in Ohio than heroin and cocaine combined from 2006 to 2009. At least 122 prescription opioid doses were dispensed per person in Scioto County in 2010, nearly twice the statewide rate of 67 doses per person.

Help end prescription drug abuse. Talk to friends, teens and family members about the dangers of taking medication without a prescription or sharing prescription drugs, and the highly addictive nature of these drugs.



A recent national study found that 60 percent of people aged 18-25 obtained prescription pain relievers from family members or friends for nonmedical use. Although it may seem wasteful to dispose of costly prescription medication, properly disposing of unneeded or old medication is one way to prevent prescription drug abuse among your family and friends.

Read the specific disposal instructions that came with your medication. A few medicines should be flushed down the sink or toilet, if they cannot be disposed of through a take-back program, because they may be harmful or even fatal if used by someone else. A list of medicines recommended for disposal by flushing can be found on the FDA’s website: http://www.fda.gov. Enter “safe disposal of medication” in the search box.




You may be able to take advantage of drug take-back events in your community that collect unused prescription drugs for proper disposal, or you can use the easy guide below.
1. Take unneeded medication out of the original container and mix it with garbage, coffee grounds, cat litter or sawdust.
2. Place mixture in a disposable container, such as a sealable plastic bag.
3. Place sealed container in the trash.
4. Remove all personal information from empty medicine bottle and dispose of the bottle.


Portsmouth Police Department and New Boston Police Department maintain Drug Drop Boxes for safe disposal of medication.

For more information, contact Marissa Wicker, Injury Prevention Health Educator, at (740) 354-8944.

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Ohio Department of Health, Prescription for Prevention: http://www.healthy.ohio.gov/vipp/drug/p4pohio.aspx