safe storage

Why is safe storage important?

  • 72% of students in Denver County reported having an adult to go to for help with a serious problem – we can continue to support the young people in our lives by being prepared to have conversations with them about their decisions around substance use, and to reduce access to substance use by safely storing of medicines and disposing them when no longer needed (Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), 2015)
  • 10% of Denver Public School students reported having used prescription drugs without a prescription (HKCS 2015)
  • The average age of first use is 13 years old (HKCS 2015)
  • Where do youth get their prescription drugs? (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA))
    • 22% from a doctor
    • 5% bought them from a drug dealer
    • 7% from another source
    • 66% from a friend or relative

Products to help store your meds safely:

There are many products available to help you safely store your medicines so that they do not end up in the wrong hands; a quick search on the internet will pull up many of these products. Locking containers and bags: these are convenient because they are small enough that you can throw them in your purse or luggage and take them with you wherever you go. They are also a relatively low-cost item.


storage tips

Tips to help you store your meds safely

  • Consider products you might not think about, such as medicines for your pets and over the counter medicines.
  • Monitor your medicine use. Keep an updated list of all prescription medicine in your home. Take an inventory at least twice a year — when clocks ‘spring’ forward in the spring and ‘fall’ back in autumn. You can also use this time to dispose of any medicines that you no longer need.
  • Ask your pharmacist if any of the medicine you have been prescribed may have the potential for abuse or addiction.
  • Do not share prescription medicine. Healthcare professionals prescribe specific medicine for individuals based on personal medical histories and other health factors. A medicine that works for one person may cause harm—even death—to someone else, even if symptoms are similar.

Things to think about when choosing how to safely store your medications and other substances, like marijuana:


  • The Colorado Household Medication Take-Back Program offers FREE drop-off locations. These locations accept prescribed medications, over-the-counter medications and controlled substances (e.g. Percocet, Vicodin, Xanax, Ritalin and Adderall). 
  • A full list of locations throughout the state is available at:  http://takemedsseriously.org/safe-disposal/disposal-options/.

safe disposal


Do you know an adolescent or young adult who is suffering from drug abuse and other mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or adhd?

  • The Denver Health STEP (Substance Abuse Treatment Education & Prevention) Program can help.

  • STEP offers a 12-week outpatient treatment program for adolescents and young adults (11-24). 

  • STEP is located at Denver Health and have clinics in several Denver Public Schools.

  • Contact a STEP representative at 303-602-1893 or step@dhha.org.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, you can seek help

Have Family substance use issues affected your child?

  • Denver Health Families in Recovery: Support & Therapy for Youth,  Call: 303-602-6370 or E-mail: Chris.Sheldon@dhha.org 

additional resources