WHAT PARENTS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Teens and young adults are at risk for prescription drug misuse from drugs they get from their healthcare provider, as well as from their friends or family. Prescription drug misuse among teens can affect brain development, decision-making and behavior.

WHAT TO ASK YOUR TEEN'S HEALTHCARE PROVIDER

Consider these questions if your teenager is prescribed opioids (pain medication), stimulants (for treating ADHD) or benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications).

  • Is the prescription necessary?
  • Are there safer treatment methods that can be just as effective?
  • How long will my child need to take this medication?
  • Can you prescribe only the amount necessary to treat the problem?
  • We have a family history of substance use. How might that impact my child taking this medication?
  • Is my child at risk of becoming addicted?
  • How will I know if my child develops a problem with prescription drugs?

STORE AND DISPOSE OF MEDICATIONS PROPERLY

DO YOU TRUST EVERYONE?

You may trust your children not to misuse prescription drugs in your name, but what about their friends, neighbors or anyone else who comes to visit your home?

STORE DRUGS SECURELY

Use a safe, lockbox or install a lock on a kitchen cabinet to store your prescription drugs safely.

TAKING MEDS TO SCHOOL

If your child needs to take prescription drugs while at school, deliver the medications directly to the school nurse for secure storage and monitored dosing. Unless special circumstances exist, don't allow your child to carry the medications during school hours.

DON’T BECOME AN ENABLER

Of Kansas teens who misuse prescription drugs, 15% steal from family and friends. If your drugs are accessible, you could be enabling your child to misuse drugs.

GET RID OF UNUSED DRUGS

If you have leftovers from a previous prescription, find a medication collection and disposal site near you to get rid of them before someone else finds them and uses them.

TEEN SUBSTANCE USE IN KANSAS

Top 5 Substances Teens Report Using

Alcohol (15.85%)

Vaping (9.77%)

Binge drinking (8.04%)

Marijuana (6.75%)

Prescription drug misuse (3.70%)

Chart showing 74%

Of teens reporting prescription drug misuse, 74% report getting access to those drugs from friends and family (through sharing, buying or stealing).

Source: Kansas Communities That Care 2020 Student Survey

SIGNS OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG MISUSE

PRESCRIPTION OPIOIDS
  • Fatigue
  • Fading in and out of consciousness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Constricted pupils
  • Flushed skin
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
PRESCRIPTION STIMULANTS
  • Hyperactivity
  • Intense irritability
  • Increased hostility
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Paranoia
  • Unexplained weight loss
BENZODIAZEPINES
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Sweating
  • Mood changes
  • Risky behavior
  • Impaired memory or focus

Source: NIDA for Teens

HOW TO TALK TO YOUR TEEN

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids offers conversation starters and effective ways to approach your teenager about preventing substance use or intervening if you suspect a problem.

Source: Addiction Policy Forum