Are you the parent of a teenager? You’ve likely spoken to your child about illegal drugs. But legally prescribed medicines are also cause for concern. An alarming number of teens are more likely to have abused prescription and over-the-counter drugs than some illegal drugs, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The easiest way for teens to obtain prescription medicines is from the medicine cabinet at home or at a friend’s house.
Here are some things parents can do:
Speak to your teen about prescription medicines and remind him that taking someone else’s prescription, or sharing theirs with others, is illegal.
Alert your family physician that you are concerned, and ask her to speak to your teen about the importance of proper use of prescription medicines.
Keep prescription medicines in a safe place and avoid stockpiling them.
Promptly and properly dispose of any unused prescription medicines.
Provide a safe and open environment for your teen to talk about abuse issues.
Monitor your teen’s use of the Internet, especially for any illegal online purchases.