A new study from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America shows that abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines has become entrenched in teen culture.
One in five teens surveyed admitted to abusing prescription drugs to get high; and one in ten admitted to abusing cough medicines to get high. The predominant source of those drugs: our bathroom medicine cabinets. Let's face it, as a society we've become very cavalier about prescription drug use -- sleeping pills, anti-depressants, pain-killers, stimulants and tranquilizers -- it's the fastest-growing addiction problem in our country; and we're passing it on to our children.
Time was when parents went out they used to lock up the liquor cabinet. Now they need to lock up the medicine cabinet as well.
If you have children living at home that may be at risk, you need to educate yourself about the medications that kids are abusing. Check out the Partnership for a Drug Free America at www.drugfree.org. Communicate with your kids. Research shows that kids who learn about the risks of using drugs from their family are half as likely to use drugs as kids who don't.
Safeguard your medications: ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of the medications you're taking are dangerous and have potential for abuse; take an inventory of your prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines; pay attention to quantities; and keep them out of reach -- someplace other than the bathroom medicine cabinet. You'll be glad you did; and your child's life may depend on it.