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?
Know the Facts:
About one in six teens say they have taken a prescription medicine – that was not prescribed to them — at least once in their lifetime. Some teens are engaging in this dangerous to party and get high, but also to manage stress or regulate their lives. Some are abusing prescription stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to provide additional energy and the ability to focus when they’re studying or taking tests. Many teens are abusing pain relievers and tranquilizers to cope with academic, social or emotional stress.
What Are the Risks?
There are both immediate and long-term risks to medicine abuse. In the short term, overdosing can be fatal, as can mixing Rx medicine with over-the-counter medicine and/or alcohol. In the longer term, prescription opioids (pain relievers) and other prescription medicines have been proven to b
wo-thirds (65 percent) of teens who report abuse of prescription medicine are getting them from friends, family and acquaintances. Some teens share Rx medicines among themselves —handing out or selling their own pills or those they’ve acquired or stolen from classmates.e potentially addictive. Relying on Rx medicines at a young age to help “manage” life can establish a lifelong pattern of dependency and prevent teens from learning important coping skills. Where are teens getting prescription medicine? T
What Should a Parent Do?
1. Educate yourself – Visit drugfree.org and MedicineAbuseProject.org for information, tools, resources and support.
2. Communicate the risks of prescription medicine abuse to your kids. Children who learn a lot about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who do not get that critical message from their parents.
3. Safeguard your medicine. Keep prescription medicine in a secure place, monitor the number you have and lock them up. Dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medications 24/7 at Union County Sheriff's Office Drug Drop Box.
4. Get help. If you think your child has a problem with prescription medicine abuse, call Maryhaven at 937-644-9192. Learn more at drugfree.org and MedicineAbuseProject.org.