Parents Take Notice: Your Teen Could Be Using Prescription Drugs

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Just when you thought you had covered the bases with your teenager about drugs and alcohol, you are hit with a new trend in drug abuse: prescription drug abuse. Unfortunately, prescription drug abuse is on the rise among our youth. Data from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows the second most popular category of drug use after marijuana is the non-medical use of prescription drugs.Always remember, taking prescription drugs without a doctor’s approval and supervision can be a dangerous  even deadly    decision.

What can you do to prevent prescription drug abuse?

Once again, the answer is simple: Talk to your kids. Let them know that you oppose all illicit drug use   including prescription and OTC drug use. Monitor their behavior by randomly checking up on them to make sure they are where they say they are. Know their friends and their friends   families.

Also, itâs time for you to take inventory in your own home. Keep your prescription medications out of reach. They should not be in a place where your kids or their friends can find them. Put them in a safe place where only you have access. Move your OTC medications to a safe place as well. Just as you do for alcohol, make a note of the levels in each bottle.

Monitor the Web sites that your child visits on the Internet.
Some teens actually order medications via Web sites (or “pill mills”) that are not monitored by the FDA. These sites are sometimes in countries outside of the United States. Be sure to review the history trail on your computer and carefully track where your teen is making purchases on the Web especially if you allow them access to your credit card, or if they have their own card.

What are the signs of abuse?
The symptoms are pretty obvious: slurred speech, staggering walk, sweating, nausea, vomiting, numbness of extremities, dilated pupils, drowsiness, dizziness. If your teen shows these signs of drug abuse, ask questions immediately — then talk calmly with them about the risks of abuse. Also check your mail and your Internet history to make sure your child isn’t ordering medications over the Internet. There are Internet pharmacies that will sell to just about anyone.

What can you say to your teens?
If your teen shows these signs of drug abuse, ask questions immediately — then talk calmly with them about the risks of abuse. Make it a rule that they should never take prescription drugs unless you or their physician prescribes them. Visit the Action Guide for Parents for more information on how to start the conversation.

Always remember Parents can make a difference. Your kid may be mad now, but they will thank you later.

For more information and resources on this topic visit:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
NIDA InfoFax

Source:The New York Times