Prescription drugs abuse is a fast growing and serious problem in America today. Statistics show that 80% of abusers started taking or misusing prescription medicine in their early or late teens. Among those teens, prescription and over-the-counter medicines are the most frequently abused drugs by high school seniors.

It’s up to us to do something about the prescription drug pandemic. The simplest place to begin is in your own house by storing medications safely, securely and out of sight. It is also extremely important to talk with your kids regarding the numerous dangers of prescription drugs abuse.

Some Steps to Follow for Keeping Prescription Drugs More Secure

Step 1: Observe

You need to be completely aware of the medications in your medicine cabinet. Make sure all of the pills you have in each bottle/packet are accounted for. Keep track of refill dates and actual refills that family members have filled for you. If you notice that you are having to refill your prescription more often than you should, this is a definite reason for concern. If medicine has been prescribed to your teen, it is up to you to control and monitor how much they take.

Step 2: Communicate

Whether you know it or not you have the biggest influence on your teens decision to avoid drugs. Use this influence to talk to your teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. It is important for them to know prescription drugs are no less, if not more, damaging than street drugs. The chances of your teen abusing prescription medicine will be much less if communication is involved.

Step 3: Secure

Secure your prescription drugs the same way you would any other variable in your home. Hide all of your prescription medicines a safe place your teen does not have access to. Always make sure the location is secure and locked.

Step 4: Dispose

Get rid of all expired and unused prescriptions when the time is convenient. Always know that addicted teens will go to many extremes to retrieve discarded medicines. Combine all medicines you are throwing away with liter or flush them with water to assure your teen doesn’t find them. Removing any personal information from bottles of discarded prescriptions will prevent any unauthorized refills.

Step 5: Protect

A lot of prescription medications require a prescription form to physically turn in to obtain the medicine. Some doctors even prescribe these medicines months at a time. Make sure that these refill forms are kept hidden or possibly in the same place the medication is being stored.

Step 6: Interact

If you suspect that your teen is abusing drugs then it is important to interact. Make sure to ask the parents of your child’s close friends to completely safeguard their home and secure their prescription medicines.

Step 7: Involve Yourself

Take the time to involve yourself as much as possible with your rebellious teen. The more you know, the more you can prevent these terrible addictions from happening. Let your teen know that you are always there for them, even when it is difficult to communicate. If your child feels completely safe and secure with you, they will disclose more information.

When used as prescribed, prescription medicine is safe and can help millions of people. Improper practices of the steps mentioned above can lead to increased drug abuse, harm and accidental poisoning. If you notice signs of substance abuse in your teen, act immediately. Many parents are taken by surprise when they found out about their child’s substance problem. Even if you’re not sure, it cannot hurt to reach out to your family doctor or a substance abuse counselor before it is too late.