Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Are Parents the Driving Force Behind Teen Prescription Drug Abuse?

Do you have prescription medications in your home? If you answered “yes,” do you also have a teen at home? If so, then you need to make every effort to ensure that your prescription medications cannot be accessed by your child.

Even if you think that your adolescent would never touch your prescription medication, it’s important to remember that kids are curious; they may try a medication you have on hand just to see what it’s like. Furthermore, prescription drug abuse is rampant among teenagers, and many teens are surprisingly knowledgeable about which medications will offer a “high.”

Even if your teen attempts to use your medication to self-treat pain or another issue, the risk of allergic reaction and accidental overdose are present. Furthermore, some adolescents have been known to steal and then illegally sell their parents’ prescription medications. If you are the parent of an adolescent and have prescription medications in your home, it is in your best interest (and your teen’s) to follow these tips:

  • Keep prescription medications somewhere where the teen cannot access them (e.g., in a locked safe or hidden location).
  • Educate your teenager on the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
  • Dispose of prescription medications away from the home.
  • Set a good example by using prescription medications exactly as they are prescribed.
  • Answer your teen’s questions about prescription drug abuse and drug abuse in general.

Face the Facts

As a parent, it is important to understand that prescription drug abuse is a real problem among today’s teenagers. Many parents feel that talking to their child about the dangers of drugs such as marijuana and cocaine is enough and don’t believe it necessary to speak with him about the perils of prescription drug abuse.

But it is imperative. Prescription drugs are often much more accessible than standard street drugs are to teens. Furthermore, many teens are under the impression that, because they are “legal” and prescribed by a doctor, prescription medications are “safer” than other drugs. This is not the case at all, and if your teen doesn’t know the truth, he is at risk. Do your part; talk to your teen, even if you think the possibility of prescription drug abuse is low.

Seeking Help

If your teen is already struggling with prescription medication abuse, do not turn a blind eye to the problem or regard it as normal teenage experimentation. Instead, seek professional help for him today. Contact us at Muir Wood now.