Though many parents are concerned about their teens abusing marijuana and alcohol, there is a whole new world of drugs that should be on their radar. This is the abuse of “household” drugs such as prescription medications, over the counter medications and even everyday household products. More and more kids are finding easier, cheaper ways of getting high. Instead of spending money on pot, they can just go into their parents’ drawer or medicine cabinet and find an array of things to take.
Pills such as painkillers, antidepressants and even cold medicine are commonly abused to obtain a high. What’s even scarier is that teens are doing the unthinkable and using household chemicals such as nail polish remover, glue, paint thinner and aerosol products to get high. This is done by inhaling or “huffing” these substances. Keep an eye out for empty containers hidden under your child’s bed and take notice to products running out or disappearing faster than usual.
Why Prevention Is Key
Sandra Brown, a former community resource officer from Santa Barbara has been urging parents to be on the look out for suspicious behaviors from their kids. Pay attention to changes in your teen such as the way they dress, changes in friends and their overall actions. She stresses the importance of preventing the abuse of drugs as opposed to the recovery from drugs after the fact.
Brown has seen first hand the fatal results of what can happen because of careless drug use. Because children’s brains aren’t fully developed until the mid to late 20’s and drugs can have a major negative affect on this development. Also, it has been shown that the earlier you use drugs, the better chance you have at becoming addicted. Brown also encouraged parents and adults to report other types of suspicious behavior such as alcohol being illegally sold by liquor stores, for example.
What Can Be Done?
By being involved in your child’s life, you are more likely to spot something like this coming. Keep in good communication with your kids so that they feel they can come to you with anything they are concerned or curious about. Don’t make them wrong in the case that they do come to you with something. Instead, thank them for confiding in you and then go from there. As an adult you have more resources than they do, so use that to your advantage. As an additional precaution, keep medications hidden or locked away from your children.
Even if you believe your child would never experiment with them, it’s better to not take the chance. Many cities also have drug disposal programs that are available to the community. This particular county in Georgia has collection boxes at all nine of their departments, as part of a project called Operation Medicine Cabinet. Contact your local police department to find out whether or not there is a program like this in your area in order to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe manner.
If do you have a child who is abusing prescriptions take the following steps:
1. Lock up your prescriptions and do not leave them in a place that they can be take or abused.
2. Get your loved one immediate help through drug rehabilitation.
3. Make sure that the treatment does not involve the prescribing of more drugs but uses a holistic method that is long term and has a high success rate for permanent results.
Another tip from Narconon centers is to never wait to get a loved one into treatment. For more information on this topic or getting help contact us today.