Preventing Rx Drug Abuse

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Prevention asks parents to think about what prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs you have? Where are they kept? Would you know if some were missing? The good news is that you can take steps immediately to limit access to these drugs and help keep your teen drug-free. Specifically:

1.    Safeguard all drugs at home. Monitor quantities and control access. Take note of how many pills are in a bottle or pill packet, and keep track of refills. This goes for your own medication, as well as for your teen and other members of your household.

2.    Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine and always following the medical provider’s advice and dosages. Make sure your teen uses prescription drugs only as directed by a medical provider and follows instructions for OTC products carefully.

3.    Be a good role model by following these same rules with your own medicines. Examine your own behavior to ensure you set a good example. If you misuse your prescription drugs, such as share them with your kids, or abuse them, your teen will take notice. Avoid sharing your drugs and always follow your medical provider’s instructions.

4.    Properly conceal and dispose of old or unused medicines in the trash. In Talbot County, Hill’s Drug Store has responded to the strong need for the proper disposal of unwanted and expired medications. Hill’s has announced it is now offering a new “drug take back” program to safely dispose of unused medications. This program is intended to reduce the risk of improper use as well as disposing of medicines that can damage our environment and present safety issues if not disposed of properly.

5.    Ask friends and family to safeguard their prescription drugs as well. Make sure your friends and relatives, especially grandparents, know about the risks, too, and encourage them to regularly monitor their own medicine cabinets

Talk to your teen about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs. These are powerful drugs that, when abused, can be just as dangerous as street drugs. Tell your teen the risks far outweigh any “benefits.” For further information on the prescription drug problem in our community, please call Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067. For information on the “Drug Take Back” program, call Hill’s Drug Store at 410-819-6541.