Medication Safety for Tweens, Teens and Young Adults

Did you know that teens as young as 12, as well as college students between ages 18 and 25, have among the highest rates of prescription drug abuse? So, as a parent, it is important to teach your children to: 

Respect the power of medicine and use it properly.

Recognize that all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC), have risks along with benefits. 

Take responsibility for learning how to take medicines safely and appropriately, and seek help at the first sign of a problem.

Many people think that misusing prescription drugs is safer than illegal drug use. Yet, prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as other illegal drugs. And, the easiest way for teens to obtain prescription medicines is from their friends or their parents’ medicine cabinet. Prescription drug misuse, which can include opioids, is among the fastest-growing drug problem in the U.S

Kids who continue to learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use drugs. Here are actions and reminders parents, caregivers, and educators can take to protect tweens, teens and young people:

  • Talking about Opioids: Tips to Guide your Conversation with your Healthcare Providers.
  • Diminish opportunities for easy access with tips for the Safe storage and disposal of medications
  • Remind your teen or college student never to accept or purchase prescription medications from friends, strangers or other illegal sources like unapproved pharmacies on the Internet. Only purchase from a VIPPS verified on-line pharmacy
  • One in four teenagers incorrectly believes that prescription drugs can be used as a study aid. Nearly one-third of parents say that they believe that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication can improve a child’s academic or testing performance, even if that child does not have ADHD. It’s both illegal and harmful to take someone else’s prescription medication. 
  • Sports injuries are common and may result in pain severe enough to involve a prescription opioid. If a student-athlete is injured, whenever possible, treat the injury first with rest, ice, compression, and elevation—seek medical care if it’s necessary. Opioids for pain should be considered only by a physician and only when other treatment methods have not provided relief.