Parents’ Medicine Cabinets are Drug Dealers!
There are a million ways people end up addicted to drugs. Boredom, peer pressure, addiction runs in the family…the list goes on and on.
There’s one way in particular, though, that many adolescents and young adults end up addicted to prescription drugs. I’m talking about swiping them from friends and family, about the newest drug dealer – your medicine cabinet.
Look, I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but the risk of young people taking painkillers, benzo’s, or stimulants from family members’ medicine cabinets is a very real danger.
Consider that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 23% of all teenager painkiller abusers get the drugs from friends of relatives. While not all of these will be taken from an unsuspecting bathroom, a large portion will.
It’s vital that parents do everything they can to keep prescription drugs from their children. It’s that simple. So, with that in mind, find some easy to implement tips below!
Talk to Your Children
This is the first step many parents and loved ones take – and for good reason! There’s no better way to educate adolescents about prescription opioid or benzo abuse than to talk to them openly and honestly.
If you experimented with drugs or alcohol in the past, don’t hide it. Rather, use your experiences to highlight the dangers inherent to drug abuse and addiction. It won’t be an easy conversation, but it may be just what your teen needs to hear!
Of course, talking only goes so far. Maybe you have a child who’s actively using. Maybe they’ve started down that path and aren’t too far-gone. That’s where this next tip comes in.
Lock Your Meds Up
Prescription medication is incredibly dangerous. Consider that opioids now kill more people each year than car crashes, murders, or plane crashes. Consider that every day, every single day, forty-four people die from a prescription opioid overdose.
For those reasons and many others, it’s a good idea to lock up your medicine. This is true for medication you’re currently taking and for older, expired pills you may still have.
Following this line of thinking, it’s also a good idea to lock up your liquor cabinet. It isn’t easy to do either of these and it may hurt your child’s feelings (“what do you mean you can’t trust me?”), but it may also save a life.
What’s more important?
[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]
Dispose of Meds Properly
Remember those old, expired pills I just mentioned? Well, it’s a good idea to get rid of them instead of keeping them around.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to dispose of unused pills though. For example, don’t flush them down the toilet. While that removes the pills from your house, it also contaminates local water supplies.
Did you know that male fish in Canada have actually developed female sexual tissue as a result of women flushing birth control pills down the toilet? It may sound funny, but I promise you I’m not joking. There have been studies done that confirm the dangers of flushing medication.
There are numerous guidelines on how to best dispose of old meds. Find some from the FDA here.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do to keep your children safe from prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, and the like. All that matters is you’re doing something.
Taking the first step is often the hardest. If you’re struggling with a child abusing drugs, reach out for help! There are hundreds of options across the country. There’s one that’ll be perfect for your family’s particular situation.