Know! To Be Part Of The Solution - Rx Drug Abuse Prevention

Know! To Be Part Of The Solution - Rx Drug Abuse Prevention

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness month; bringing to light the dangers of prescription (and over-the-counter) medicine abuse and encouraging parents and other caregivers to be a part of the solution.

With ONE in FOUR youth having misused or abused prescription drugs, the need for parents, teachers and community leaders to take immediate preventative action is without question. There are several key steps that can be taken in your home and with your children to make a community-wide impact. 

Monitor, Secure and Dispose - three vital steps in preventing prescription drug abuse among youth.
  • Make note of how many pills are in each medicine bottle; keep track of refills and be sure you control any medication that has been prescribed to your child.
  • Lock up your medications in a safe or locked cabinet or drawer.
  • Take advantage of community drop boxes or drug take-back days for your unused, expired or unwanted prescription medications. Click here to find a drop box near you.
  • To properly discard prescription drugs in household trash, remove medicine from original container, mix with undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter and place in a disposal plastic bag or other sealed container. Before placing in the trash, be sure to conceal or remove any personal information on the medicine bottle.
 Talk with your children regularly about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
  • Dispel the myth that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs – they’re not! If you need a little help explaining why, refer to the previous Know! Tip - Know! The Facts, Respect The Meds
  • Help children understand that even when taken as prescribed, there are health risks associated with prescription medications. When taken in an unintended manner, by an unintended user, that risk increases even further – with potentially fatal consequences. 
Advocate for the lowest dosage of a drug, to relieve pain for example, when being prescribed a medication for yourself or your child.

Role model appropriate behavioral choices by using your prescribed medications only as directed and not sharing them with family or friends for any reason.

Help spread the word - This is when sharing is caring! Share this information with family and friends and consider making a brief presentation to your local PTA, civic association or other group to bring about awareness on this issue. You can visit the website for additional information and downloadable resources to assist you in spreading the word.

Teen drug abuse is an epidemic; one that needs to be stopped in its tracks. As parents, teachers and other caring adults, we must do what we can to be a part of the solution. We must reduce access and availability of prescription drugs in our homes and educate ourselves, our children and our community about the potentially dangerous and deadly consequences of prescription misuse and abuse. We also need to help our children understand how appropriate use of medications can be beneficial in helping people live longer, healthier lives. The best way to teach that is by our own example. 

For more information on proper disposal guidelines, visit or ask your pharmacist.