When was the last time you spoke with your teens about prescription drug abuse? If you haven’t, you aren’t alone.
Parents—unaware of the danger of abusing prescription drugs—often don’t talk to their kids about it. But prescription drugs can be just as dangerous and lethal as street drugs if taken without a doctor’s supervision.
Abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise. A recent study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America shows that one in five teens reported abusing a prescription pain medication, stimulant, or tranquilizer. .
Studies also show that teens abuse more prescription drugs than cocaine, heroine, and methamphetamines combined. Teens cite a variety of reasons for misusing prescription drugs—including self-medicating to deal with stress, depression, or to help them juggle schoolwork and other activities.
Teens report easy access to prescription medications, so the Partnership for a Drug-Free America recommends parents and grandparents keep drugs hidden and out of easily accessible medicine cabinets. Teens also mistakenly believe prescription drugs are safer than street drugs.
That’s why the Partnership for a Drug-Free America has launched a public awareness campaign alerting parents to the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Its website offers numerous resources on this growing problem—including how to talk to kids, how to spot drug abuse, and what to do if your child is abusing drugs.