Know! To Examine Your Relationship With Medication

Do you medicate appropriately and responsibly or are you potentially sending your children unintended messages regarding prescription and over-the-counter medicines?

When used correctly, medicine plays an important role in managing health conditions. But when misused, abused or taken when unnecessary, these drugs can be unhealthy, unsafe and unpredictable.

It is important to closely examine your relationship with medication because you may be unintentionally misusing, and you may be laying the foundation for your children to do the same.

In today’s world, regardless of what ails us, there is likely “a pill for that.” But just because we can doesn’t always mean we should. As parents and caregivers, we must also be aware of the behavior we are role modeling for the children in our lives.

So what exactly is appropriate and responsible use of medicine?

  • When it comes to minor aches and pains, I consider other options for relief before popping a pill for a quick fix.
  • I only start or stop using a prescription drug under the guidance and knowledge of my physician.
  • I follow the dosage and time table as prescribed for me.
  • I do not share my prescription medications, not even with loved ones whose symptoms appear to match mine.
  • When talking with my healthcare providers, I disclose all medications I am taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and creams/salves.
  • I do not mix medications without first checking with my doctor or pharmacist.
  • I am aware and heed warnings to not drive or perform particular tasks on the job or at home, while taking certain medications.
  • I am also aware and heed warnings not to mix alcohol with certain medications, as the outcome is unpredictable, can render my medicine ineffective or even produce a fatal combination.
  • I know my medication’s potential side effects and when I should contact my physician regarding them.
  • I keep my prescription and over-the-counter drugs locked up and monitored.
  • I discard prescription medication once it is no longer needed for the condition it was originally prescribed.
  • I properly dispose of all expired, unused and unwanted medications.

Now that we’ve examined our personal relationship with medicine and the household “norms” we are creating, let’s take a look at what is being “normalized” outside of our homes. What is pop culture teaching our kids about prescription and over-the-counter drugs? We’ll take a look in the next Know! Parent Tip.

*NOTE: This message is not intended to serve as medical advice. It is only meant to get individuals thinking about the role medication plays in their lives and how that in turn impacts their children’s views and future behaviors.