Parenting

'Not My Kid!'

teenage girl looking at pills

"My kid would NEVER!"

How many times have you heard those four words? And how many times have you said them about your own child?

We all like to believe that we are on top of our kids and would know right off if they were doing something they shouldn’t be doing. But, sadly, there are way too many teenagers out there abusing prescription medicine, even though we truly believe they never, ever would.

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As a matter of fact, research from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids shows that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime -- a 33 percent increase since 2008. And one of those teens could be yours ... or mine.

What is especially scary is that more Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes. This increasing trend, driven by prescription painkillers, has prompted the CDC to call prescription drug abuse an epidemic.

The good news is it doesn’t take much effort to effect change. We can all play a role in curbing teen medicine abuse and hopefully stop it before it starts.

Safeguard Your Medicine.

Keep prescription medicine in a secure place. Count and monitor the number of pills you have and lock up your medicine.

Dispose of Your Unused Medicines Properly.

Learn how to safely dispose of medicine at home and/or find a medicine take-back site near you.

Take the Pledge!

Check out the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids' Medicine Abuse Project and take the pledge to talk with your family about medicine abuse and to safeguard your medicine. Kids who learn about the dangers of drugs and alcohol early and often are much less likely to develop addiction than those who do not receive these critical messages at home.

The more we talk and the more we work together, the more kids we can save. Hopefully, you’ll be one of the lucky ones who can say, "My kid would NEVER!" and be right!

 

Image @iStock.com/grummanaa5

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