Prevent Teen Drug Abuse - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Preventing Teen Drug Abuse - Rx Take-Back Day: October 11

Decreased or obsessive interest in school work

Fatigue, red or glazed eyes and repeated health complaints

Sudden mood changes, including irritability, negative attitude, personality changes and general lack of interest in extracurricular activities

An extreme change in groups of friends or hangout locations

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Other signs may include secretiveness, loss of interest in personal appearance, borrowing money or having extra cash, slurred speech, sweating, sleepiness or avoiding sleep, loss of appetite or flushed skin. 

Self-Assessment Form: Click Here



Most Commonly Abused?

Teens most commonly abuse pain relievers like oxycontin and vicodin, stimulants like Ritalin and adderall, and sedatives and tranquilizers like valium and xanax.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Getting Help

Parents: 1-855-DRUGFREE (1-855-378-4373)
Find a Treatment Provider: 1-800-788-7254
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)


   What Can Parents Do?

   Lock your medicine cabinet or keep medicines that could potentially be abused in a less accessible place.

   Avoid stockpiling medicines.

   Keep track of how much is in each bottle or container in your medicine cabinet.

   Monitor your child's Internet usage.

   Watch for suspicious Web sites and e-mails that promote the abuse of prescription medicines.

   Never mix different medicines in the same bottle.

   Disposal Of Medicine

   Take unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs out of their original containers and throw them in the trash.

   Mix prescription drugs with an undesirable substance like used coffee grounds or kitty litter.

   Put them in impermeable, non-descript containers like empty cans or sealable bags.

   Flush medication down the toilet only if the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs doing so.

   Take advantage of community pharmaceutical take-back programs or community solid waste programs.

  • Prevent Teen Drug AbuseMore>>


Teens may have a carefree attitude about prescription drug abuse and be unaware of the serious and potentially life-threatening risks. It's important to identify why more and more teens are abusing prescription drugs.

Availability: It's easier to get prescription drugs than illegal drugs.
Education: They do not understand the risks of taking drugs that were not prescribed specifically for them. They also fail to realize the danger of mixing prescription drugs with alcohol, other prescription drugs and illegal drugs.
Pressure: There is pressure to get better grades or to fit in with friends.
Pleasure: They are seeking psychological or physical pleasure.

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

It's not just the medicine cabinet. There are many places in your home that are important to safeguard your family from prescription drug abuse.

Teen Bedroom: Move the computer out of the bedroom into a public space in the house. Many web sites provide detailed information on which prescription and over-the-counter drugs to take to get high.
Bathroom: All prescription and over-the-counter drugs, especially painkillers and cough medicines, should be kept in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet, which teens cannot access.
Parent Bedroom: Lock up your prescription drugs or over-the-counter sleep aids. Explain to your teen why you are taking them, that you keep track of your dosages and that it is not safe to use them without a medical provider's supervision.
Kitchen: Some people keep medications on a shelf in the kitchen. Be sure to lock up the medications. Also, monitor the number of beer cans and wine and other alcohol bottles in your home. Teens might drink in combination with taking prescription drugs or street drugs, resulting in serious consequences.
Storage: Inhalant abuse, sniffing or huffing ordinary household items, is dangerous and can result in death. Monitor quantities of other household products some teens use to get high. Examples include lighter fluid, spray paints, cleaning fluid and glue.

Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy

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