Many of the children and teens that fall into a prescription medication abuse problem do so completely by accident. A girl might begin to take a sibling’s medicine for ADHD because of the weight loss side effects, or a boy may begin taking his dad’s expired pain medications only to become addicted to their use. The biggest problem with teens and prescription drug addiction is that teenagers do not realize the risk. They do not necessarily understand that just because the medication is prescription, it does not mean that the medication is safe.
- Every single day approximately 2,500 children and teens aged 12 to 17 are abusing a prescription drug for the very first time. Too many of their parents are completely unaware of what is going on.
- There are more teenaged children abusing prescription drugs than teenaged children abusing any other type of drug except for one, which is marijuana.
- Teens often prefer to abuse prescription drugs because they have been led to believe that prescription drugs are somehow safer in comparison to illicit drugs when the truth is to the contrary.
- Most children and teenagers who abuse prescription drugs are getting the medications from their friends and their relatives. The most common way to score prescription drugs is to raid any medicine cabinet that they can find.
- Most kids and teens who begin to abuse prescription drugs actually begin doing so before they reach the age of 15.
- Teenagers often say that they have not talked with their parents about prescription drug abuse, which means that many of these teens are unaware of the dangers of prescription medication use and abuse.
There are some specific steps that you can take to prevent prescription drug abuse by your teenaged children. The first thing that you are going to want to do is to look around your home for prescription medications and over the counter (OTC) medications to find out what you have and where they’re being kept. Would you notice if your medications went missing?
- Make sure that all drugs in your home are safeguarded. Do what you can to monitor the quantities of your medications and to control access to the medications that you do have. You should make sure to note however many pills are in each bottle or packet, and make sure that you are keeping track of your refills.
- Establish clear rules for your teens regarding drug use. Teach them never to share their medicine and always to follow the advice and the dosage amounts offered by the medical provider. You should make sure that your teenager is only using prescription drugs in the way that they are meant to be used. This is going to include taking proper dosages and not taking medications with other types of substances without first acquiring permission from a doctor. Your teenagers should never take OTC or prescription drugs alongside street drugs, illicit drugs or alcohol.
- It is essential that you strive to be a good role model. What you need to do in order to achieve this is to take your own prescription medications and OTC medications by following the same rules. If you are setting a good example for your children, then the odds are going to be good that they will follow suit. Your children may still stray and attempt to experiment with drug abuse, but the best thing that you can do is to show them a better life.
- Conceal unneeded medicines when disposing them. Hide them and throw them away completely in the trash so that they cannot be found and taken out of the trash by your teen. If your teen develops an addiction to prescription medication, then they may go to great lengths to find more pills that they can take. You need to make sure that you are disposing of medications completely and properly in order to prevent them from finding and taking expired pills.
- Ask your friends and family members to safeguard all of their medications as well. Anywhere where your teen is likely to go is going to need to be made safe so that they do not find and abuse prescription or OTC drugs. Make sure that your teen’s grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives are aware of the potential for prescription drug abuse by your teenager so that they can take steps to prevent anything from happening in their homes as well.
You may not initially notice that your teenager has a problem. Abusing a prescription medication and abusing illicit drugs are two different beasts entirely, and they do not present in the same way by a long shot. You are going to need to be vigilant about watching your child or children and ensuring that they are not abusing any medications in the house. You must also make sure that if they are taking any prescription medications, that they are doing so properly. Keep an eye on their pills and make sure that they are taking the medication as prescribed and not straying from the guidance provided by their physician.
If you suspect that your teen might be abusing prescription medications or abusing over the counter medications, then just make sure that you are paying closer attention. If you spot a problem, there is plenty of help out there for you to pursue, you simply have to know that there is a problem in order to start getting help for your teen. A little bit of help and support can go a long way in getting your teen to recovery.