Know! October is Medicine Abuse Month 2

In the previous Parent Tip we talked about the importance of making your child aware that anytime a prescribed drug is taken by someone other than the intended user or in an alternate manner, dosageor time period than prescribed (even by the intended user), it is medicine abuse.

In this Parent Tip, we remind you that October is Medicine Abuse Awareness Month and we encourage you to keep the conversation going with your child.

Try tossing out the following statements to your child, then discuss the reasons why they are true or false.

Drugs prescribed by a doctor are safer than drugs purchased on the street.
FALSE – Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous, addictive and deadly as illegal street drugs. Here’s why: Doctors take many factors into consideration when prescribing a specific drug and appropriate dosage to patients including: an individual’s age, weight, medical history, allergies, interactions with other medicines, potential side effects of prescribed drug, etc. And when individuals are prescribed a medication, it is done so under the watchful eye of their healthcare professional.

Sharing your prescription medicine or using someone else’s is against the law.
TRUE – There are both federal and state laws that make it illegal to take a prescription medication that belongs to someone else, or to share prescription drugs with another person. In addition to consequences at home and/or school; a person can face hefty fines and even jail time for breaking these laws.

By looking at the numbers, everyone is doing it!
FALSE – While it is true that prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels throughout our nation and drug overdoses now exceed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death, it is FALSE that everyone is doing it. In fact, the majority of youth (73%) are not abusing prescription medications, alcohol or any other drug.

Be sure to share the good news! It can be helpful and empowering for youth to know they are in the MAJORITY by making the positive choice to be Drug-Free 24/7!

PARENTS: While this particular statistic is positive and encouraging, we cannot allow ourselves to ease up on our “drug” talks with our children. Know! that because you are talking early and often about the dangers of drug use, your child is at better odds of not using in the first place.

To access part 1 of this two-part Know! Parent Tip, click here. 

  1. 2011 MetLife Foundation Partnership Attitude Tracking Study. 
  2. United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sources: The Partnership at Drugfree.org: The Medicine Abuse Project. The Cardinal Health Foundation – The Generation Rx Initiative