Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern
Do you know what's in your medicine cabinet?
If not, you should take a look. Do you have leftover prescription pain relievers from a surgery a few years ago? Do you know exactly how many pills are in that bottle? Have you kept track of refills?
Prescription drug abuse is growing among youth locally as well as across the country. The Hubbard County Youth Drug and Alcohol Task Force launched a campaign to address this issue.
For youth, prescription drugs are often more accessible than alcohol or other street drugs but they're just as dangerous, if not more so. Just because the drugs were prescribed by a doctor doesn't mean they're safe.
We need to make sure we're talking with our children about the dangers of using prescription drugs without a prescription or abusing over-the-counter medications.
As school is starting up again, children will be around their peers and are more likely to be exposed to prescription drugs. We, as adults, need to limit access to these drugs.
We can take steps to control access to drugs.
Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider's advice and dosages.
Be a good role model by following these same rules with your own medicines. Examine your own behavior and make sure you're setting a good example.
Properly conceal and dispose of old or unused medicines in the trash. You can mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter to discourage teenagers from taking them out of the trash.
Ask friends and family to safeguard their prescription drugs as well. Grandparents, especially, should be aware of what's in their medicine cabinets.
Most importantly, we need to talk with our kids and teens about the dangers. Communication is key. If we're open and honest about the dangers of drugs, our children will be less likely to use them.
We also need to take an interest in our children and know what they're doing, who they're spending time with.
We can make a difference by making an effort to prevent prescription drug abuse among our youth.