The following is an excerpt from The Medicine Abuse Project of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Protect Your Kids: 3 Steps to Safeguard Your Home
Two-thirds of teens who report abuse of prescription medicine are getting them from friends, family and acquaintances. Make sure the teens in your life don't have access to your medicine. Find out how to monitor, secure and properly dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter cough medicine in your home.
Step 1: Monitor
Parents are in an influential position to immediately help reduce teen access to prescription medicine because medicine is commonly found in the home. But how aware are you of the quantities that are currently in your home? Think about this: would you know if some of your pills were missing? From this day forward, make sure you can honestly answer, “Yes.”
- Start by taking note of how many pills are in each of your prescription bottles or pill packets.
- Keep track of your refills. This goes for your own medicine, as well as for your teens and other members of the household. If you find you need to refill your medicine more often than expected, that could indicate a problem.
- If your teen has been prescribed a medicine, be sure you control the medicine, and monitor dosages and refills. You need to be especially vigilant with medicine that are known to be addictive and commonly abused by teens.
- Make sure your friends and relatives — especially grandparents — are also aware of the risks. Encourage them to regularly monitor their own medicines.
- If there are other households your teen has access to, talk to those families as well about the importance of monitoring and safeguarding their medications.
For the remaining steps, visit Medicine Abuse Project