Addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky has teamed up with Smart Moves, Smart Choices to draw awareness to prescription drug abuse by teenagers.
Dr. Drew says the casual use by parents of prescription drugs send the message that they are harmless to kids. He says parents should be using lock boxes for their prescription drugs to send the message that they are to be treated with care and respect. Here’s more from a Q&A with Dr. Drew.
“Our general attitude toward prescription drugs is that they’re going to make our lives happier and better. Pills are designed to treat medical problems, not to make life easier. [Adults think] you can use these things without consequences, and adolescents don’t see the long-term horizon.
[Among teens] there’s a general note of, What’s the big deal? They’re given by doctors, mom and dad use them, how harmful could they be? And oh by the way, they really do get me high. They work, and I can steal them right out of my own medicine cabinet. I don’t have to go get them from the guy on the street corner!”
“Then how are teens getting their hands on the pills?
Sixty-four percent of [drugs come from] from a friend or relative. There are a lot of pills out there lying around. Sometimes [kids are] stealing from a friend. It’s so pervasive and handled so causally in the home that kids can steal an entire bottle of pills and no one notices.”
“Take us through the drugs of choice — what are the kids into these days?
Different cultures have different drugs of appeal. The general classes are benzodiazepines (like Xanax and Valium), psychostimulants (Adrerall and Ritalin) and opiates (Oxycontin, Vicodin and codeine).
The psychostimulants — meds used to treat ADD and ADHD — are big on college campuses. They’re widely available because many [students] are on them for functional purposes to study. They’re dangerous because they can trigger manic episodes and depression.
The most problematic class is the opiates. These are the painkillers, a giant class. You name the painkiller, it’s abused by kids.”
There is a lot more information in the interview so please click on the link.
This really makes me think. I have most of our medicines way up high in my closet but I do have a couple of things that I use every day in a more convenient spot. I wonder at what age they need to be locked up and not just put away or behind a baby lock?
Where are you storing your prescription drugs? Do you think your tween/teens are getting into them? Would you know? Do you count pills? Are you aware of the quantity? Do you hide or lock your prescription drugs away?