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April 2011

April 2011 

Are you an accidental drug dealer?

Jerome R. Barry, LMHP, LADC
Director, Bryan Independence Center
Bryan Medical Center

Jerome Barr, LMHP, LADC, Director, Independence CenterAre you an accidental drug dealer?

If you have mood-altering prescription medication in your home that is accessible to others, you may be.

Many of the clients we see at the Independence Center who are addicted to prescription drugs tell us stories of having obtained some of their drugs from the medicine cabinets of family, relatives, and/or neighbors. 

You need to be aware: some people are very diligent to obtain the same drugs that we do not care to take unless we have to.  If you have unused prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet, you may inadvertently be the "dealer" to those that struggle with drug addiction.

It is important to NOT say, "no one I know would take drugs from my medicine cabinet!" The reality is, it is happening all over the United States, and Nebraska is no exception.  To ignore this reality is dangerous and potentially harmful.

Prescription drugs that are frequently taken from medicine cabinets are anything mood-altering. For example: 
Pill bottle

  • Hydrocodone
  • Lortab
  • Oxycotin
  • Oxycodone
  • Percocet
  • Xanax
  • Ambien
  • Ativan
  • Clonopin
  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Concerta


People addicted to or dealing these prescription drugs are well informed about medication names and their generic counterparts.   If you are currently taking this type of medication, it is important to treat access to it in the same manner that you would hopefully treat the possession of a firearm: under lock and key and/or well hidden.  The rule of thumb should also be to destroy or dispose of any medications prescribed to you once the current episode requiring the medication is over. 

What it boils down to is this: if outsiders have easy access to prescription drugs in your home, there is a very real risk of theft and misuse.

Article from our health library: "How to safely dispose of unused medicine."


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