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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Have you talked with your kids about Prescription Drug Abuse?

I've been thinking about over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse lately because there is information about it everywhere, it seems! Just this week, purchasing cold medicine, cough medicine, and allergy medicine I received print outs on my receipts about teen prescription drug abuse, and there are often commercials/PSA ads on tv too.   The government even limits how much allergy medicine I can buy per month because it can be used to get high and also to manufacture illegal drugs.  That makes me crazy come spring & fall when 3 out of 4 of my family are sick and need one pill person per day.  I have to send my husband and a friend who doesn't have allergies to buy Claritin-D so we can have enough medicine to not sniffle/sneeze and feel miserable all day - that is ridiculous!! But it's a necessity because of prescription & over-the-counter drug abuse.

I have talked with my 17 year old about the dangers of drug abuse, and she actually knows kids at her former high school that drink cough syrup to "get buzzed".   When she had pain medicine prescribed last year, she said several teens at her school offered big money for one pill. Seriously?!  Thankfully, she ignored them.  I just can't imagine kids doing that.  It's definitely a different world than the one I grew up in!

It won't be long until we'll need to talk to our 8 year old as well, since I think boys seem to be more reckless and less inclined to think about consequences.  I want him to be aware of the dangers of using medicines not prescribed for him, or using medicines inappropriately. 

I guess it shouldn't be surprising - the evening news regularly reports the latest Hollywood star's rehab admission, or pill mills being raided (that happened right across the street from my husband's office two  months ago - a "pain clinic" was raided after reports of many out of state patients coming & going.)   You can even buy prescription drugs online now, often without a prescription - how crazy is that?!  Here are some pretty disturbing numbers related to prescription drug abuse in America...

Have you talked with your kids about prescription drug abuse?  If so, how old are your kids?  It seems like we have to warn them earlier than ever about the dangers of misusing medicines in order to educate them and help them prepare for the possibility of peer pressure.  That makes me so sad.

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