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Prescription Drug Addiction: How Parents Can Help Kids Stay Safe
According to many recent national and state surveys, more kids are abusing more prescription drugs than ever, exceeding all illegal street drugs combined. Parents are being urged to help turn around a situation that could see millions of young Americans entering adulthood with prescription drug addiction problems.
To help combat the growing teenage prescription drug addiction and abuse epidemic across the country, parents of teenagers should proactively and openly discuss the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. There is a abundant helpful information on how to talk to kids about drugs on the website TheAntiDrug.com.
The site also lists 5 easy steps parents can take to help eliminate the problem of easy access to drugs at home — the primary source of prescription and OTC drugs that kids are abusing.
The Five Steps for Controlling Access To Prescription Drugs
1. Safeguard everyone’s drugs at home and keep track of their consumption. If you have to refill medication sooner than expected, there could be a problem — someone may be stealing pills, and that can lead to abuse, dependence and prescription drug addiction.
2. Set rules for teens about drug use, including following dosages exactly, and no sharing with anyone. Overdoses can lead to prescription drug addiction, and also kill thousands of people a year. This goes for OTC products too. No one, especially teens, should ever take prescription or OTC drugs with street drugs or alcohol — combinations like those can lead to injury and death.
3. Set a good example and follow the same rules with your own medicines. Never share them with your kids or anyone else, and always follow your doctor’s dosages. Teens can notice departures from the rules, and get the idea that they’re just rules for kids. That way lies prescription drug addiction and abuse.
4. Throw away unused drugs secretly — you don’t want anyone digging through trash trying to support a prescription drug addiction or dependency. Remove labels with personal information and mix the bottles with garbage — coffee grounds, or kitty litter. Never flush drugs down the drain or toilet, because research is finding dangerously high levels of drugs polluting the nation’s drinking water.
5. Ask family, friends and neighbors to safeguard their prescription drugs too. Tell everyone, even grandparents and your teen’s friends families, about the risks of prescription drug addiction and abuse, and encourage them to take the above steps. Follow up with your teen’s school administration to find out what they are doing to address prescription drug addiction and OTC drug abuse.
TheAntiDrug.com is a project of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, one of the on-going activities of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Although the information above is primarily concerned with education and prevention, we have to face the facts that thousands of young adults are already suffering under the yoke of prescription drug addiction. For anyone you even suspect of having a drug problem, don’t hesitate to call a medical drug detox counselor and get some sound, professional advice on what steps should be taken to help that person recover their life.
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