Why Worry About Prescription Drugs?

As a parent of a teenager, you may have spoken to your child about illegal drugs and their harmful effects. But did you know that legally prescribed medicines are also a cause of concern? Only alcohol and marijunana are more widely abused. In fact, an alarming number of teenagers are more likely to have abused prescription and over-the-counter drugs than some illegal drugs, like ecstasy, cocaine, crack, and methamphetamines.

The dangers of prescription medicine abuse include dependence, slower brain activity, irregular heartbeats, dangerously high body temperature, heart failure, or lethal seizures. Prescription drug abuse also increases emergency room visits and suicide attempts. In 2009, more than 1 million emergency room visits involved the nonmedical use of prescription drugs.

The easiest way for teens to obtain prescription medicines is from their friends or their parents’ medicine cabinet. It’s so common that it could happen even in your house!

  • Nationally, nearly one in four teens (23%) report taking a prescription drug not prescribed to them by a doctor at least once in their lives.
  • Almost half of teens (47%) say it is easy to get prescription drugs from a parent’s medicine cabinet.
  • Teens are abusing everything from pain medicines to stimulants, sedatives, and tranquilizers.

Parents can make a difference

Kids who continue to learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who are not taught about the dangers. Only 22 percent of teens report discussing the risks of abusing any prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription with their parents.

It’s up to YOU to have an open dialogue with your kids!

Click on the links in the green box on the right for more information about Prescription Drugs



This information was adapted from SAMHSA's Medicine Abuse Project

MYM Grandpa

Prescription drug abuse, particularly to opiate-based pain medication, has devastated many communities across the nation. What is prescription medicine abuse? Prescription (Rx) medicine abuse is the use of an Rx medicine to create an altered state, to get high, or for any reasons other than those intended by the prescribing doctor. As a parent, how do you inform your own child of the dangers of this epidemic and protect your family? 

Read more ...

lock your medsProper disposal of Prescription Drugs

Federal Guidelines:

Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so. For information on drugs that should be flushed visit the FDA’s website.

To dispose of prescription drugs not labeled to be flushed, you may be able to take advantage of community drug take‐back programs or other programs, such as household hazardous waste collection events, that collect drugs at a central location for proper disposal. Call your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service and ask if a drug take‐back program is available in your community.

Union County offers three take back locations 24 hours per day/7 days per week:

            Union County Sheriff’s Office- 221 West 5th Street  Marysville, OH 43040

            Richwood Police Department- 153 North Franklin Street  Richwood, OH 43344

            Plain City Police Department- 231 Friend St Plain City,Ohio 43064

If a drug take‐back or collection program is not available:

  • Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.
  • Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
  • Put the mixture into a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty margarine tub, or into a sealable bag.
  • Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers by covering it with black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off.
  • Place the sealed container with the mixture, and the empty drug containers, in the trash.

Office of National Drug Control Policy
750 17th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20503
p (202) 395- 6618 f (202) 395-6730

Lock Your Meds® is a national multi-media campaign designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are the “unwitting suppliers” of prescription medications being used in unintended ways, especially by young people. Produced by National Family Partnership®(NFP), the campaign includes a wide array of high-quality advertisements, posters, educational materials, publicity opportunities, inter-active games and slide show presentations, with all roads leading to this website, where visitors can learn more and ask questions.

Parent Pilot Kit

A science-based book written for parents by parents, the Parent Pilot Kitis a collection of thelatest and best research on teenage brain development, media, social norms, and Parent Peer Groups. Containing information about communication, driving laws, drug charts, parental self-evaluations and more, the Parent Pilot Kit is a tool to educate and unite parents in order to help keep kids healthy, safe, and drug-free.

This resource is brought to you by The Florida Family Partnership/ Informed Families

“Accidental Dealer” 

The majority of youth who experiment with prescription drugs for the first time obtain these drugs from family members or a friend’s family member without consent – making that person an “Accidental Dealer.” This is particularly worrisome, especially since the average age of first-time drug use in southern and eastern Kentucky is age 11. This initiative targets parents, grandparents and caregivers.

UNITE in dire need of volunteers to help spread the word about the dangers of being an Accidental Dealer and to help with very specific tasks leading up to a community-wide awareness event.

Brought to you by Operation UNITE