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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Prescription Drugs

Most people who use prescription drugs do so in a safe, responsible and legal way – just as their healthcare provider prescribed them. Unfortunately, some people put themselves at health risk by abusing prescription drugs.


Abuse of prescription drugs can include:

  • Taking them without a prescription (using, stealing, or buying illegal prescription drugs).
  • Taking them in ways not ordered by their healthcare provider (taking larger amounts or changing how you take them like crushing a pill and snorting it).
  • Taking them to get high.


Youth are a particularly vulnerable population for prescription abuse and the #1 place they get these drugs is from a family member’s or friend’s medicine cabinet.  Make sure you dispose of unused or expired medications at your local pharmacy and lock up any medications that are in your home.

Path of the Pill

Watch the Path of the Pill. Linked with permission from the Partnership for a Drug Free Canada.


One of the most commonly abused prescription drugs comes from a family of drugs called Opioids which include morphine, codeine, and oxycodone.

Drug and Alcohol Helpline


Risks of prescription drug abuse can include:

  • Negative physical, mental, and social side effects
  • Addiction
  • Death

Additional Information

Date of creation: February 1, 2013
Last modified on: April 28, 2015


1Partnership for a Drug Free Canada. (2013). Prescription Drugs. Retrieved from