With prescription drugs so abundant, Americans have run into the problem of misuse. Most of the Americans misusing prescription drugs are teens and young adults. How do these teens get their hands on prescription drugs? Either they are prescribed, or more often, teens will steal prescription drugs from parents, grandparents and friends. Prescription drug abuse by teens and young adults has become a serious problem in America.
Prescription Drug Abuse Facts
- 50% of Americans take at least one prescription drug each month
- Nearly 10% take more than four
- 15 million people abuse prescription drugs each year
- 2,500 youth per day abuse prescription drugs.
- Prescription drugs account for 45% of deaths whereas street drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and meth account for 39%.
- In the last ten years, there has been a 400% increase in prescription medication abuse.
- 70% of all prescription drugs that are abused are coming from family and friends.
To ensure, prescription drugs are properly stored and safe, parents can lock up medications using small lockboxes that can be screwed into medicine cabinets. Kohler manufactures a lockbox that is 5 inches tall and 20 inches wide and will fit in most medicine cabinets or bathroom drawers. It is aluminum, comes with 2 sets of keys and retails for $62.85 online. Lock Med markets their Vangaurd series Medication lockbox for $29.99. Many other companies’ manufacturer similar items which can be found in retail stores like Target, Walmart and various medical supply stores. Once parents have taken the precautions of locking up prescriptions, try to monitor them. Make sure to keep track of how much you’re prescribed to take versus how much is left in the container. One or two pills missing can go easily undetected so it is important to keep inventory.
Often times kids who get involved with prescription drugs do it as a way to self-medicate or to fit in. As a parent, if you find your child abusing prescription drugs there are several things you can do. Aside from securing all of your prescription drugs, try to talk to your child. Reassure them you love them and care for their well-being. Try to get your child involved in other activities. Make an appointment for a therapist. If they will not talk to you, sometimes talking to a stranger can help. All of these can help, but sometimes major treatment is required to help a prescription drug addict.
“Be aware, Don’t Share, Lock Your Meds.”