National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Did you know that more than 6 million people ages 12 or older have abused a prescription drug and one in 10 youth ages 12 through 17, or 2,400,000 children, reports having intentionally abused cough medicine to get high?  Help raise awareness about the dangers of prescription (Rx) drug abuse and over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine abuse by taking part in National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, observed annually in October.

Parents and adult caregivers are often caught unaware that their teens may be abusing Rx medications. They are all too often surprised when they discover that their children are abusing these drugs under their watch. They have much to learn about Rx abuse and must keep it on their radar screen along with alcohol, marijuana and other drugs.

1. Get the facts— teen Rx abuse is a problem:

  • Educate yourself about this growing trend.
  • New users of prescription drugs have caught up with new users of marijuana, and next to marijuana, the most common illegal drugs teens are abusing are prescription medications.

 2. Protect your teenager.

  • Watch for behavioral and physical symptoms of abuse.
  • Check for signs of Rx medications that do not belong in his/her room.
  • Talk with other parents and share information.

3. Talk with your teens and grandchildren to dispel the belief that Rx drugs can be safely abused.

4. Safeguard your medications.

  • Lock up your meds.
  • Keep track of medication quantities.
  • Properly dispose of them if they are no longer needed.

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