And who abuses these drugs most? The young adults in our lives. It is important to protect youth and others in our communities from this threat. Together, we need to prevent local prescription drug misuse and abuse.
Why abuse meds?
People who misuse prescription drugs, particularly teens, believe them to be safer than illicit drugs because they are prescribed by a healthcare professional and dispensed by a pharmacy. That is not the case. Using prescription medications without the permission of a doctor can lead to health problems, addiction, or legal trouble. Although these drugs may be initially prescribed, leftover meds stay in the household long after they are needed. Many youth find these old medications easily accessible in bathroom cabinets or junk drawers, making it easy to experiment or sell without ever needing a prescription from their doctor.
You can prevent teen med abuse.
The most effective way to prevent this problem is to be proactive.
- Lock up your medications, and properly dispose of expired or unnecessary items.
- Encourage community pharmacies, law enforcement, and long-term care facilities to do their part to ensure that safe and proper disposal is conveniently available for medications.
We, as a community, need to raise awareness about this issue, and a great way to do this is to get involved in your local coalition! Staff at Helping Services are ready to connect you with your county’s group. You can either review the list of local coalitions online or call our main office at 563-387-1720 for more information.
We all want to protect the youth in our lives from the threat of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Let us join together to help keep them safe in our homes and our communities!