Teen Drug Use: Safeguard My Meds

Statistics show that 70% of people 12 years-old and older who abused prescription pain relievers say they got them from a friend or relative.

Where will you be for the holidays?

Grandparents? An aunt’s? Friends?

Most homes have medicine cabinets – and most medicine cabinets have prescription drugs in them.

The holiday season is upon us and with family dinners, parties and get-togethers, you can usually expect more visitors in your home. But did you know unused and easily accessible medicines have the potential to be misused and abused by anyone entering your home – including teens and young adults?

Yet many people don’t realize the personal responsibility that comes with having prescription medicine in the home. That’s why the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma launched the Safeguard My Meds program.

Here are a few simple, yet important steps that can be taken to protect prescription medicine.

· A locked storage container should be kept for prescription medicines at greater risk of being abused – such as pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and depressants. These medicines are targets for theft by anyone who enters your home, so extra precautions should be taken.

· Keep track of your medications with the Medicine Inventory Sheet. Take inventory of your prescription medicines at least twice a year, such as when you change your clocks in the spring and fall.

· Learn more about the safe storage and disposal of prescription medicine by Downloading the Brochure and by visiting www.safeguardmymeds.org.

· Take the Personal Responsibility Pledge and commit to doing your part to safeguard and keep prescription medicine out of the wrong hands. Take the pledge!

Have a safe, healthy and fun holiday!

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Teens and Drug Use: Medicine Abuse

Today, roughly one out of three teenagers knows someone who has abused over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine to get high.

Studies show that abuse of prescription and OTC medicines is a problem among today’s teens. Teens might abuse OTC cough medicine because it is affordable and easily available, and teens may believe it is “less dangerous” than illegal drugs. Today, roughly one out of three teenagers knows someone who has abused OTC cough medicine to get high.

While millions of Americans rely on OTC cough medicines containing the cough suppressant ingredient dextromethorphan (DXM) for cough relief, some teens ignore labelling instructions and intentionally take large amounts of DXM – sometimes more than 25 times the recommended dose of these medicines – to get high. This means some teens ingest multiple packages or bottles of OTC cough medicines.
Learn the side effects  and warning signs  to make sure OTC cough medicine abuse does not go unnoticed in your home.

Learn more at StopMedicineAbuse.org and follow them on Twitter and join them on Facebook.

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Need help with your teenager, contact www.helpyourteens.com.

Teen Drug Use Online: Monitoring Your Teen’s Digital Activity

What is your teen doing online? Did you know they can order drugs virtually?

IT’S OKAY!!!! Snooping when their safety is at risk is part of responsible parenting.

Parents often find it difficult to balance between keeping a watchful eye on their teens and invading their privacy. Some parents may shy away from proactively monitoring their teens’ online behavior because they don’t want to be overbearing, “uncool,” or untrusting. StopMedicineAbuse.org is here to tell you, IT’S OKAY!

There are ways to be hands-on without hovering, and here’s how:

Monitor what your teen is searching and where they’re going online.

Keep tabs on the list of websites visited and items searched on your computer by reviewing your internet browser’s history. You can do this by opening your internet window and using the shortcut Ctrl+H. Look for suspicious sites or search terms related to dangerous behavior, such as terms like “robotripping” or “dexxing” and pro-drug use sites like GrassCity.com and Erowid.com.

Address online behavior offline.

If you see your teen using their Facebook page in an inappropriate way, or if you see red flags for dangerous behavior, address it offline! Don’t use their profile as a way to communicate your concerns. Instead, take it as an opportunity to talk to your teen offline; for example, if you see friends referencing drinking or drug use on their wall talk to them about the risks of this dangerous behavior.

To friend or not to friend your teen on Facebook?

Friend away! According to a recent study by Lab42, 92% of parents are Facebook friends with their children and more joining to monitor their kids’ interactions, with 40% citing safety as the top reason for looking at their profiles. This will allow you to keep tabs on who your teen is interacting with and will allow you to identify any red flags for risky behavior, including dangerous teen trends like robotripping, surfing, and 30 seconds.

Bring Internet use out from behind closed doors.

Insist that your teen uses the computer in a communal space rather than in their bedrooms.

Special contributor: Stop Medicine Abuse

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Home 2 Homeroom: A Wake Up Call for Parents

Parenting teens is a challenge today.

Schools and parents today need to work together to help prevent teen drug use.

Fast Facts: Preventing Teen OTC Cough Medicine Abuse – From Home to Homeroom

A Wake Up Call for Parents

  • Thirty-three percent of American high school teens know someone who has abused cough medicine, a wake up call for those parents who think that their teen is not affected or being exposed to the issue.
  • Six percent of high school teens admit to abusing cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, to get high in the past year.

Cough Medicine Abuse Does Not Happen By Accident

  • While safe and effective when taken as directed, teens looking to get high from cough medicine take excessive amounts, sometimes 25 to 50 times the recommended dosage. This translates to multiple bottles or packages of medicine at one time.
  • Teens often abuse cough medicines with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol.
  • Even the best kid in the world doesn’t have the same ability as adults to assess risk because the part of their brain that processes risk, the frontal cortex, doesn’t finish developing until their mid 20s.

Parents Have the Power to Keep Teens Drug-free

  • Research shows that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risk of drug abuse are up to half as likely to use.
  • Parents are not alone in their fight to prevent medicine abuse; reaching out to the school nurse can help parents learn more about the issue and access local resources.
  • Parents can learn more about the Home to Homeroom campaign by logging onto www.StopMedicineAbuse.org

Parents can interact and help raise awareness by joining online communities including:

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SIZZURP – Cough Syrup Teen Drug Abuse

What will teens come up with next to get high from?  Why don’t some of them understand the dangers of substance abuse – the risks that come with even experimenting with some of these drugs?  We just heard about the alcoholic whipped cream, now we have this next trend.

PACT Coalition of St. Johns County, FL sends out a newsletter. It always has valuable information.  This week it informed parents about Sizzurp.  What is it????

This was their trend for the week:

We’ve had several requests for information about cough syrup abuse recently. This is a good reminder to keep a close eye on the items in the medicine cabinet. Cough syrup is a main ingredient of Sizzurp. This is a mixed drink which consists of codeine cough syrup, a fruit flavored soda and often a Jolly Rancher. The codeine causes a feeling of euphoria which can impair driving, cause lethargy and extreme tiredness. Pop culture has embraced this trend in many songs and movies.

During this month – Partnership at DrugFree.org has also rolled out their campaign – You Are Not Alone.

Many parents are more fearful of the stigma attached to having a teen use drugs than they are concerned for the teen that is using the drugs.  It is time to stop being a parent in denial -know that  you are not alone, and there is help and resources to get your teenager the help they need.

Get involved today!

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/youarenotalone

Drug Guide: http://www.drugfree.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/drug_chart_10.25.10_opt.pdf

Parents Toll-Free Helpline:  1-855-DRUGFREE

If you have any further questions, partnership ideas or comments, please feel free to email us at youarenotalone@drugfree.org.

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Teen Drug Use: OTC (Over the Counter) Medicines and your Teens

Parenting teens.  Is there a job more challenging today?

From text lingo that can make you blush, to sex language that turns your stomach, there is no denying it – raising teenagers in today’s techno and substance abuse generation is a struggle to keep up with.

Who would have thought that today’s medicine cabinet could potentially be a danger zone?

Cough medicine abuse is a situation of ‘good medicines, bad behavior.’ The fact of the matter is that teen cough medicine abuse does not happen by accident; it involves intentionally taking large amounts of medication to get high. The ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines that teens are abusing is dextromethorphan, or DXM. While DXM-containing medicines are safe and effective when used as directed, they can be dangerous when abused in large amounts.

The makers of OTC cough medicines containing DXM have introduced an educational icon on their medicines’ packages. The icon helps raise awareness about the teen abuse of cough medicines and provides the StopMedicineAbuse.org website as a resource for more information. It also provides a great conversation starter with your teens about cough medicine abuse.

StopMedicineAbuse.org created Home to Homeroom Digest with valuable information about what today’s teenagers are using and how to help prevent drug abuse.  Education is the key to prevention and this website is full of priceless articles, tips and resources to help you be an educated parent.

Read more.