Monday, October 5, 2009

Prescription Drug Abuse: Get the Facts
Knowledge is Power: The #1 deterrent of substance abuse in teens is PARENTS!
From GeorgetownCARES
Prescription Drug Abuse – On the rise….
- Teens report that Rx drugs are more accessible to them than tobacco, alcohol or other illegal drugs.
- Most frequently abused prescriptions include
1) painkillers (Percocet, Vicodin, Demerol, Codeine products, Oxycontin),
2) anti-anxiety/tranquilizers/depressants/benzodiazepines
(Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Atavan)
3) stimulants (Adderall, Concerta, Metadate, Ritalin).
- One third of teens believe that there is nothing wrong with taking Rx drugs.
- 2 in 5 teens believe that taking someone else’s prescription drugs is safer than using illegal drugs.
- From 1992 to 2005, the number of teens who abuse Rx drugs has tripled (CASA).
- By the time they have graduated from high school, 1 in 5 teens will have abused prescription drugs across the US.

What Can I tell my children?
Teaching respect for the medications in our homes is an important lesson for children. Both over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs prompt good opportunities to teach your children the difference between use and abuse. Use means following the recommendations and directions of your prescribing doctor, or directions as printed on a container. Abuse means ignoring them. Make sure children understand about following the correct dosage on all medicines; supervise the administration of any medicine, including vitamins. Remember to keep your conversations short and frequent. Children have short attention spans and learn best by repetition. Tell them…
- Prescription drugs are only safe for the person the prescription was written for.
- Over-the-counter medication, such as cough syrup and cold medicines can cause great danger if abused, if not taken as directed for conditions the medicine is meant to help.
- Taking more than the prescribed/recommended dose can damage your body or be fatal.
- If someone requires numerous medications, explain why each one is needed and that by following doctor’s orders & directions, the person prescribed the medicine will stay safe.
- It is not acceptable to self-medicate. If children are stressed or feel there is a problem that needs medicine, they must come to you first and together you will find the right doctor to get help.
- There are strict laws against abusing prescription drugs, either taking someone else’s or taking your own in ways not prescribed by your doctor.
- Tell girls especially that eating properly and exercising is the best way to lose weight. Taking diet pills or other stimulant drugs to lose weight is extremely dangerous because they stress the heart and blood vessels which can lead to permanent heart damage or death.

Be sure to dispose of old or extra medications safely. That means either 1) in a police-supervised “safe deposit box,” if one exists in your community, or 2) in the trash, out of the bottle, in a baggie with coffee grinds or kitty litter. Do not flush down the toilet; do not through away in original containers; do not keep around longer than necessary.

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