Unsuspecting Parents Provide Drugs to 70 Percent of New Teen Users
For young families, summer means plenty of time at the pool, trips to the ice cream truck, and endless day camps -- but for older kids, the long, unscheduled days often mean a jump in first-time drug use, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Mother Nature Network reports on the LockYourMeds campaign, which targets parents who unintentionally make prescription drugs available to their teens. One survey found that 25 percent of high schoolers said they'd abused medications, and 70 percent of them got the pills from their family's medicine cabinet. That leftover pain medication you got after a recent surgery may not seem like a dangerous drug, but the article points out that more overdose deaths are linked to prescriptions than to cocaine and heroin combined.
The article offers several tips for keeping your kids safe from prescription drug abuse:
Safeguard all medicines by monitoring quantities and controlling access. Remove drugs from your medicine cabinet and lock them up.
Warn your kids that prescription drugs can be just as dangerous, addictive and lethal as street drugs. Studies show that teens view prescription drugs as "safer" to abuse than illicit drugs — and that's a dangerous view.
Properly dispose of old or expired medicines in the trash. Hide or mix them with cat litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away.
Do you think prescription drugs are as dangerous as illegal ones?
Photo: e-MagineArt.com/Creative Commons
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