When people think about drug abuse, the first type of drugs that generally pop into their minds are marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and other harmful drugs that are terrible for one’s health physically and mentally. What about the drugs you find in your medicine cabinet? The ones that are prescribed by doctors, are used to improve your health, ones that have been left over and placed in a drawer, and happen to be the easiest to access? Parents, these are the drugs you have to be careful about. Just like any other drug out there, these medicines can trigger an addiction which then becomes a problem for them, you, and your family.
According to a study by Cardinal Health research, approximately 70% of people who abuse prescription medications get them from family or friends, and often from the medicine cabinet. Also on average, more than 10,000 people in the United States abuse prescription medications for the first time each day, and a large percentage of those people are young teenagers. One in four teens report taking a prescription drug that was not prescribed for them by a doctor. Specialists, researchers, and doctors couldn’t stress more, it is extremely important to educate everyone about prescription drugs and how dangerous they can be when they are being overused or abused that can even result in death.
What you can do to help prevent your child from abusing prescription drugs:
- Educate yourself- Learn about the dangers of prescription drugs.
- Ensure your home is safe from prescription drugs – lock up your drugs so your kids and their friends can’t access them. Drop off unused and expired drugs at the drop off site close to you.
- Look out for warning signs of prescription drug abuse:
- Pain Reliever Abuse- Constricted pupils, nausea and vomiting, respiratory depression
- Stimulate Abuse- Anxiety, Delusions, Flushed skin, Chest pain with heart palpitations
- Depressant Abuse- Slurred speech, Dizziness, Respiratory depression
- If you find warning signs, don’t hesitate to get help. The earlier, the better!
- Stay closely connected with your kids, middle school/college
Talk to your kids, tell them the dangers of drugs and what effects they can have. Remind them that are much stronger than the drug! It’s important to strive for the natural high. Friends, laughter, and enjoyment in life is the best drug out there for everyone.
For more information on preventing drug abuse, please click the link below: