In our last post, we looked at the high rate of teen abuse of prescription medications. Most of the time, kids aren’t buying these drugs. It turns out that most of the time, teens are receiving pills for free from a trusted source such as a friend or relative. However, about 20 percent of teens admit to simply taking medications from friends or family without permission. For example, if one sibling has ADHD, another sibling might be secretly helping themselves to some of the pills. Or, they may be raiding the medicine cabinet or their mom’s purse to find tranquilizers or painkillers. About one in three teens are actually abusing their own prescription medications by taking too many or taking them in ways that are not prescribed (such as crushing and snorting).
If you are a parent and concerned about your teen’s access to prescription drugs, you can take several steps to reduce access or discover if there is a problem:
- Keep medications in a secure location in your home so you can manage and monitor access
- Always track exactly how many pills you or your teen has (there are many smartphone apps that can help with this)
- Discard unused, expired prescription drugs according to the FDA’s instructions
If you discover that your teen has developed a dependency on prescription drugs, seek help immediately from a Orange County therapist who is familiar with treating teen addiction. Click here to start with the paperwork.