Tips to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse Among Children
- Educate yourself.
Make sure you know which prescription drugs are commonly used by children. The most common drugs of abuse are opioids, central nervous system depressants and stimulants. Many common drugs fall into these three classifications and all of them have addictive properties.
- Educate your children.
Make sure that they know that prescription drugs can be dangerous.
- Limit the amount of television that our child watches.
Prescription-drug commercials are common during normal viewing hours, and even addictive drugs are advertised. Repeatedly viewing commercials that present prescription drug use as common may give your child the idea that taking those drugs is no big deal. If you see a commercial for a prescription drug when watching television together, use that teachable moment to discuss the purpose and consequences of using that drug.
- Safeguard your family’s medicines.
Keep prescription medication in a secure place, count and monitor the number of pills you have.
- Do not talk about drugs in a positive manner.
If you do take a painkiller or other addictive prescription drug, do so discreetly. Be careful not to make remarks indicating how much better you feel since you have taken the drug or how good it makes you feel. Your child listens to your every word.
- Know your child’s friends and their families.
You need to know if your child’s friends are using drugs because this is a strong predictor for drug use in your own child. You also need to know if your child has access to drugs at their friends’ homes. Talk to other parents and make sure that your child and his friends do not have access to prescription drugs.
- Spend time developing a strong relationship with your child.
This is the most effective thing you can do to prevent drug use and addiction. Create a safe environment for your child to talk to you about drug use that he sees occurring at school, in the neighborhood or among friends. This will allow you to find out about problems early and take preventative steps.
- Be careful about letting doctors prescribe your child addictive prescription drugs.
Before giving your child an addictive drug, make sure that there are no other alternatives.