A Message from Sheriff Scott Israel
PRESCRIPTION PILLS HIGH ON TEENS’ WISH LISTS
Would you know if your child was using drugs? Hanging out with a “good” group of kids, high grades and lots of energy doesn’t necessarily mean your young one is staying clean. Today’s drug abuse has become more convenient, easier to hide and more popular, thanks to the use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Our kids don’t have to look far for a high - a trip to their home medicine cabinet might just do the trick.
While use of illegal drugs among teens is falling, prescription drug abuse is on the rise. In fact, studies show that one in five teens has abused a prescription pain medication, and in Florida prescription drugs have killed 300% more people than illegal drugs.
Kids as young as 12 are trying or using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Many think these drugs are safe because they have legitimate uses, but taking them without a prescription to get high or “self-medicate” can be as dangerous – and addictive – as using street narcotics. This mistaken thinking causes teens that wouldn't otherwise touch illicit drugs to abuse prescription drugs.
Pain relievers, sedatives and stimulants are the most widely abused drugs. Teens often combine prescription and over-the-counter drugs with alcohol, a fatal combination.
Parents need to be aware of the dangers associated with prescription drug abuse and take actions to prevent their children from addiction. We need your help to save our children from this growing trend.
- Monitor your medicine cabinets. Count how many pills you have and make note of the date when you should expect to refill your prescriptions. Be aware that teens may obtain these drugs from medicine cabinets while visiting friends or family.
- Restrict the availability of these substances within your home. Consider even locking them in a safe.
- Attend a “drug take back program” to rid your home of useless or expired medications. You can get information about this program from our website at www.sheriff.org/prescriptiondrugprevention.
- Talk with your teens about drug use. Help them understand that misused prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs, especially when used in combination with other substances, like alcohol.
Don’t let drugs start in the home. By educating teenagers and observing their activities, parents can help curb this dangerous trend.
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