Teens need guidance from their parents. It takes a patient, persistent, and loving parent to stay closely connected to their children through the teenage years. By staying close, families can confront problems more strongly and wisely. One of those problems in the U.S. is the prescription drug abuse epidemic. Prescription drug abuse can affect any age person, from teens on ADHD medicine to seniors on prescriptions for multiple age-related conditions.
Parents Not As Worried About Teens Using Prescription Drugs?
Researchers caution parents that prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as illicit drugs in the teen culture. A recent study by The Partnership at Drugfree.org revealed that parents do not seem to be much concerned with prescription drug abuse as much as fear their child will use other drugs like heroin or marijuana. This lax parental attitude can be a weak spot that risks their child’s safety. Nearly half of those teens who abuse prescription drugs take those drugs from the medicine cabinet at home. Researchers offer parents some suggestions on how they can help keep prescription drugs in their homes without the abuse.
Teens should know their parents’ rules and views on using prescription drugs. Just as importantly, parents should educate themselves on the prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. and tell their teens why abusing prescription drugs can be dangerous.
Researchers state that four out of five parents find it very important to take the time to talk to their teens about the dangers of using marijuana, alcohol, and other illicit drugs. However, only about 15 percent of parents talk just as seriously to their teens about abusing prescription drugs.
Parent’s Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Actions speak louder than words. Once a parent has given their opinion about using prescription drugs and has set guidelines, they should follow their own rules. If teens see their parents abusing prescription drugs, they are more likely to follow the behavior rather than words.
Parents can be good role models by only using prescription drugs when they know that exercise, diet, and other over-the-counter drugs will not cure their ailments. Refusing an adult friend’s offer to let the parent have their unused prescription would speak much louder than any words about only using medications prescribed to them.
Prescription Drug Access And Awareness
Other actions can help safeguard teens from prescription drug abuse. If prescription drugs are difficult to access, then the risk for abuse is diminished. Parents should keep the prescription drugs in their own care so that the medicine cabinet is not a temptation to the teen. Parents should also dispose of old medications to reduce abuse risk.
Researchers have found that more than one-fourth of teenagers believe that prescription drugs are not dangerous; otherwise a doctor would not have prescribed them. However, the doctor prescribes them with guidelines that need to be followed for safety. With parental guidance, teens can understand the risks of prescription drug abuse and learn to take their medications safely and wisely.