Resources for Parents

Prescription drug abuse is the second leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. And, sadly, many of these victims are children.

We all know how important it is to talk to our children about the dangers of smoking, drinking and drugs. But we often forget to talk about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs. Every day, 2500 teenagers use a prescription drug to get high for the first time. Our children are taking advantage of easy access to drugs right in our own homes without our knowledge.

Be sure to include a discussion about prescription drug abuse in the conversation. Believe it or not, you have the most influence over your teen than anyone else – even their friends, music, TV, the Internet and celebrities. They do listen even when they roll their eyes at you.

Lead by example. Most of what we teach our children is conveyed by our own actions. They watch us from an early age and learn by our example for just about everything in life. If we abuse prescriptions and take meds intended for others, it sends the wrong message.

The good news is there are steps you can take to protect your kids from prescription drug abuse.

  • Talk to your teen about the dangers of taking prescription medications without a doctor’s supervision.
  • Lock up your medications to keep them out of your teens’ hands.
  • Double check with a health care provider if any medications have a potential for abuse.
  • Keep track of medications and keep count of the pills.
  • Have a strategy if your child takes medications at home or in school. They need to know when it is okay to take prescriptions and when it is not. Make sure the rules are being followed.

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