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Could You Be Your Kids Drug Supplier?

Drug abuse, teenage drugs, substance abuse

National campaign urges parents to "lock your meds" this holiday season.

When toddlers learn to walk, moms and dads baby-proof the house. They lock the low-lying medicine cabinets, cleaning supply closets, and other places where children might ingest something harmful. Then the child grows up and learns to not eat the inedible and the house once again becomes freely available to them.

Did you ever think that giving older kids free reign of your own house might be deadly?

Each year, preteens and teens steal prescription drugs from their parents and grandparents to get high. Some think it’s not bad because the medicine is not illegal, and mom and dad leave it readily accessible. After all, if the parents are prescribed to take it, how bad can it be? Some teens feel immortal and never really think anything bad will happen to them, until it does.

“Many teenagers taking the drugs see nothing wrong with it because a doctor prescribed them,” said Peggy Sapp, President of National Family Partnership, an organization that launched a national campaign called Lock Your Meds. “Securing our medication and educating our children is something simple that each of us can do.”

Lock Your Meds is designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are frequently the “unintentional suppliers” of prescription medications being abused, especially by young people. The organization is urging adults to lock their meds this holiday season. The holidays are an especially vulnerable time for teens because there are high expectations, family tension, and isolation. With family visiting and people of all ages, the likelihood of kids getting into your medicine is higher over the next few weeks.

Every day, more than 4,000 young people begin experimenting with prescription drugs and the number of admissions to treatment facilities has increased 400 percent in the last 10 years, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It is also reported that 70 percent of kids 12 and older who abuse prescription drugs get them from their friends and family.

Will you lock your meds this holiday season?

Image: Flickr

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