Most people take prescription medication responsibly under a doctor’s care. However, there has been a steady increase in the nonmedical use of these medications, especially by teenagers. And Rx pain pill misuse has been shown to be a gateway to more dangerous street drugs such as heroin.
Keeping Rx drugs out of the hands of minors is an important step in stopping pain pill misuse and abuse. Here are other ideas to help your family prevent pain pill abuse:
- Teach your teens and children to respect medicines. Medicines can be important in health care but they must be used according to directions and specifically for the person whom it is prescribed to. Medications have a role in care, especially for people who are actually in chronic pain, but should never be used by anyone else in the household.
- Dispose of unused medications properly. When you are done with a prescription, make sure you get rid of it responsibly. You can drop them off at community drop off sites, mix with coffee grinds or kitty litter, or follow these steps to get rid of medicine.
- Create a medicine cabinet inventory. Keep track of your prescription quantities and expiration dates. This way you will be aware if any go missing. Download this medicine cabinet inventory from Combat Heroin NY.
- Better yet, lock up medications. It may seem extreme, but better be safe than sorry.
- Look for signs of substance abuse. Know the warning sings of what to look for. A new group of friends, lying, stealing, withdrawal and depression are common sings that something is up. Once you know what to look for, you can get help.
Painkillerskill.org has a 24/7 HOPE Line that you can call with any question related to substance abuse for you or a loved one. We are here to help.