For more information on this alarming trend and how you can help protect your teen, visit www.dare.com.
National and local statistics indicate an alarming trend in the growing number of teenagers abusing prescription and over-the-counter medications (OTC). In 2007, more young people ages 12-17 abused prescription drugs than all other illicit drugs combined, with the exception of marijuana, and most teens believe that prescription medicines are much safer to abuse than illicit drugs.
When prescription and OTC medications are abused, they can lead to dangerous drug interactions or other serious medical consequences, including death. Adding to the problem is the ease of accessibility. The majority of prescription drugs abused by teenagers were obtained from within their own homes or from the homes of friends or relatives, most often without their knowledge.
Parents play an important role in dramatically reducing teen use of and access to prescription drugs since they are most often found in the home. It’s time to have frequent and detailed conversations with your teen about the risks of abusing or sharing these medications. Monitor quantities, control access and keep track of refills.