October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month
October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month. The Round Rock Police Department will host a Prescription Take Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Safely dispose of unwanted and expired medications.
About prescription drug abuse
In Texas, 4.3 percent of youth age 12 and older used pain relievers non-medically in the past year, according the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Nationwide, 1 in 5 teenagers has used a prescription drug to get high, making prescription medication the preferred drug of choice after marijuana.
Teens have a misperception that prescription medications are legal and safer compared to other illicit drugs. They may obtain the medication from friends, on the streets or through online pharmacies. Recent drug surveys show that 70 percent of 12th graders say they were given the medications by a friend or relative.
Prescription medication abuse is a serious issue among our youth and requires an urgent action. You can start with simple step: Safeguard your home by monitoring your medicine cabinet. Who does not have all sorts of leftover, expired and unused medications such as pain killers, muscle relaxers, cough medicine, anti-depressants, sleep aids, etc. in the home medicine cabinet? It’s not an unusual behavior. We always believed that it was a safe place and accessible only for those who need the medi-cation.
What can you do to prevent teens from abusing medications?
- Talk to your kids about prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines.
- Review what is in your medicine cabinet and keep an updated list of medicines in your home (you can find a downloadable sample at LifeSteps’ Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition Facebook page).
- Keep prescription medicines safely stored. A locked storage area or a lock box could be a good way to control access.
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013