Why Lock Your Meds

 

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Why lock my meds?

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Over 6.2 million Americans aged 12 and older misused prescription drugs in the past month (NSDUH, 2016).

According to the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, the number of drug-induced deaths in Idaho have more than doubled between 2007 and 2016. Almost 14% of Idaho high school students reported ever taking a prescription drug without a doctor's prescription (YRBS, 2017).

Your medicine cabinet, nightstand, purse could be their drug supplier. Be Aware. Don’t Share.

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Why would a doctor prescribe something that is unsafe?

Prescription medications when taken properly heal illness, relieve pain and control disease. But, when misused or abused, they can be very dangerous. Doctors prescribe medications to the patient after reviewing their history, illness and provide strict instructions on the proper use. These medications should never be shared or used for purposes other than which they were prescribed.

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Can I really get addicted to Prescription Drugs?

Yes. Prescription drugs that are controlled substances can cause patients to experience euphoria, and this can cause the patient to want to continue to take more of the drug.

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Which drugs are most commonly abused?

  1. Pain Relievers (Opioids) such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Codeine provide a quick relief from pain but can lead to addiction, slowed breathing, severe withdrawal and high risk of graduation to heroin.
  2. Depressants (tranquilizers and sedatives) such as Xanax, Valium, Ambien, Soma.
  3. Stimulants such as Adderall and Ritalin increase alertness and concentration but can lead to addiction, paranoia, insomnia and heart failure.

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What can I do as a parent or grandparent?

Parents, grandparents, caregivers underestimate the influence they have over the youth in their lives.

  1. Listen up. Create an environment where your child feels safe to talk to you about concerns they have about alcohol and drugs.
  2. Make time to talk.
  3. Be observant of their actions, friends, mood and Internet activity.
  4. Set limits. Clear and consistent expectations provide safe boundaries.
  5. Talk to parents of other teens.
  6. Dispel the myths. This is not a “safe” high. Abusing prescription medications is just as dangerous as illicit drug use.
  7. Help give teens an escape route and talk to them about alternatives

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Do Idaho kids really abuse prescription drugs?

Almost 14% of Idaho high school students reported ever taking a prescription drug without a doctor's prescription.  That means in a classroom of 30 kids, 4 of those students have ever abused a prescription drug (YRBS, 2017).

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Can I share my medication with a family member or friend?

No. It is illegal and dangerous and share a prescribed medication. Prescription medications should only be taken by the person it is prescribed for and never shared.

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Where do kids who abuse medications get them?

Over 57% of Americans aged 12 to 17 who reported misusing pain medication in the past year got them from a friend or relative the last time they used (NSDUH, 2016)..

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What are the symptoms of prescription drug abuse I should watch out for?

OPIOIDS (Vicodin, OxyContin, Codeine, Fentanyl)

  • Diminish perception of pain
  • Addiction
  • Euphoria
  • Dependence
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Slow respiration
  • Death

DEPRESSANTS (Valium, Xanax, Ambien)

  • Calming
  • Drowsiness
  • Addiction
  • Dependence
  • Uncoordinated
  • Slow respiration
  • Decrease heart rate
  • Death

STIMULANTS (Adderall, Ritalin)

  • Alertness
  • Addiction
  • Dependence
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High body temp.
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Paranoia
  • Death

Lingo Quiz

 

Is your child talking about prescription drugs right in front of you? Take this quiz to see if you know the common slang terms for prescription drugs.

 

TAKE THE QUIZ