-Mayah Taylor, MA
In the previous weeks blogs, we discussed how to be aware of the signs you or someone you know may be misusing prescription meds and how to talk to your doctor about avoiding pain pill addiction. This weeks blog asks the question, Are you a drug supplier to your kids?
Prescription medications are easily obtainable. For the teen or adolescent who has developed a habit for misusing medication, they don’t have to look far for their supply. At our practice, we have noticed that many teens who have fallen victim to drug misuse or abuse, have also had access through their parents or those they live with. It’s important to know the dangers of not properly disposing of unused medication and securing medication prescribed for one person.
Not securing your medication or not properly disposing of your medication allows your child easy access to medication not intended for them. It’s important that parents take prescribed medication and over the counter medication out of the medicine cabinet and secure them in a place only you know about. Also, parents should consider keeping all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet or lockbox, that others cannot access.
If you suspect your child of misusing medication or would like to take preventative measures to avoid misuse of medication, make sure you are always aware of all medications in your home as well as how much of each medication is currently in your home. To do this, count the number of pills in each prescription bottle or pill packet each day. Another helpful tip is to carefully monitor how often you are getting refills. If you find that you have to refill your medicine more frequently than you anticipated, know that this can be a sign that someone else may have access to your medication.
If your child has been prescribed medication, take the initiative and monitor and control dosages received as well as any refills being made. Taking extra precautions, securely storing prescribed meds, and disposing unused medication promptly are smart and helpful choices that can prevent your child or teen from possible misuse or abuse of medication.
Family systems are powerful forces in shaping the attitudes and behaviors of our children. Have conversations early with your children about the dangers of drug misuse and abuse. If it is not you having these conversations with them, then who is?!
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