Prescription Pain Medications

Pill bottle with pills

A prescription medication is a pharmaceutical drug that legally requires a medical prescription to be dispensed.

The prescription drug medications that are most commonly abused include:

  • Pain relievers
  • Tranquilizers and sedatives
  • Stimulants

Prescription drugs, how they work, side effects, tolerance and withdrawal

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse information on prescription drugs

First Do No Harm Responding to to Canada’s Drug Crisis: Report from Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

What is Medication?

  • Medications include prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin and herbal preparations
  • Medication is hazardous waste and must not be thrown out in the garbage or flushed down the toilet
  • Why is it Important to Regularly Clean out Your Medicine Cabinets?
  • Using expired medication can decrease the effectiveness of the medication, cause dangerous side effects, or cause potential negative interactions with other medications you are currently taking
  • Prescription drugs can be stolen and sold – the youth population is an especially high-risk group who can obtain medications for recreational use from your medicine cabinet.  The 2015 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey reported 10% of grade 7-12 students used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.  The #1 place they reported getting these prescription drugs was from the home

What can you do to Reduce your Risks?

  • Take medications only as prescribed
  • Do not share medications with others or use someone else’s medicine
  • Keep medication in a safe and secure location
  • Keep track of the quantity of medication in your home
  • Dispose of expired or unfinished prescriptions at your local pharmacy