1 (855) 322-2600

FIRST TIME CALLERS: 1 (813) 384-4000
Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Some prescription drugs can become addictive, especially when they are used in a manner inconsistent with their labeling or for reasons they were not prescribed.

Prescription drug abuse is generally the same between men and women.


Taking prescription drugs in a way that hasn’t been recommended by a doctor can be more dangerous than people think. In fact, it’s drug abuse. And it’s just as illegal as taking street drugs.

Surveys show that 70% of all prescription drugs are obtained from a friend or relative and only 4%  are bought from a drug dealer.

Four out of five older adults take at least one prescription drug daily, and over half of all people hospitalized for adverse drug reactions are over the age of sixty five. Most misuse of medications in older adults is unintentional and often attributed to the physical effects of aging, medical factors, psychological factors, cultural factors, and health system factors. Frequently, misuse by patients and doctors is a result of poor communication and a misunderstanding of the guidelines for medication use. For adults who have multiple medical issues and several doctors, it becomes difficult to keep up with the dosing schedule and warnings that each prescription requires.

Over time, the type of substances abused and the method of abuse will vary. We have included a list of resources on drugs of abuse. These sites provide current information on the latest research and survey data available at the national and state level.

Disposing of unused drugs
You can dispose of unwanted medications at the following locations:
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, District 1,
14102 North 20th St. Tampa
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, District 2,
 2310 North Falkenberg Rd. Tampa
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, District 3,
7202 Gunn Highway Tampa
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, District 4,
503 33rd St. SE Ruskin
Tampa Police Dept., 411 N. Franklin St. Tampa