Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: Get the Facts & Take Action!

Teen Prescription Drug Abuse: Get the Facts & Take Action!

The week of September 23 – 29 is launch week for The Medicine Abuse Project.

What is The Medicine Abuse Project you ask? It is a multi-year effort that aims to prevent 1/2 million teens from abusing medicines within the next 5 years.teen drug abuse

Why should you care about preventing teens from medicine abuse? Here are a few facts from The Medicine Abuse Project’s website:

• Every day, more than 2,000 kids abuse prescription drugs for the first time.
• 90% of addictions start in the teen years.
• 1 in 6 teens has used a prescription drug to get high or change their mood.
• 44% of teens have at least one friend who abuses prescription drugs.
Teens say it’s easy to get prescription drugs- 65% say they get meds from home or friends, 30% from someone else, 31% from school.
• Only 6% of parents of teens say they have a child who abused medicine, however 10% of teens admit to misusing/abusing medicines in the past 6 months.
• One person dies every 19 minutes from drug overdoses in the United States.
• More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes and this increasing trend is driven by prescription pain killers.

Those are some sobering facts! It is time to take our head out of the sand and stop being our teen’s drug dealer.

Here are some valuable tips provided by The Medicine Abuse Project about what parents should do.

1. Educate yourself – Visit drugfree.org and MedicineAbuseProject.org for information, tools, resources and support.
2. Communicate the risks of prescription medicine abuse to your teens. Kids who learn a lot about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs than those who do not get that critical message from their parents.
3. Safeguard your medicine. Keep prescription medicine in a secure place, count and monitor the number of pills you have and lock them up — and ask your friends and family members to do the same.
4. Get help. If you think your teen has a problem with prescription medicine abuse, please visit drugfree.org/timetogethelp or call our Parents Toll-Free Helpline to speak to a parent specialist at 1-855-DRUGFREE

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