Tips for Parents: Did you Know?

Did you know that Summer months are one of the ideal times for teen experimentation with drugs and alcohol? Why? It’s summer! And teens are without parental supervision for large periods of time.

As a parent of a teen, you may have had the conversation with your child about the harmful effects of illegal drugs and underage drinking. But did you know that legally prescribed medicines are also a cause for concern? Did you know that prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by teens, after marijuana and alcohol?

Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise because these drugs are more readily available than ever and teens are picking prescription medicines up at places that would surprise you– they could be at parties, from friends, from your own medicine cabinet, or even sitting on the kitchen table.

The following tips will help parents get through the remainder of this summer:

  1. Have the Conversation. As a parent, it is important for you to know what type of prescription drugs teens are abusing and talk with your kids about the dangers.
  2. Put all prescription drugs out of reach. For instance, you may look into ways to lock up medications that you take and/or use drug take back days to get prescription drugs you’re no longer using out of the house.
  3. Know where your kids are. Even if they are going to a party it is important for you to know where your kids are and if there will be a responsible adult present.
  4. Pay attention to your teens. Changes in friends, hygiene, and mood swings can occur as teens are growing up, but they can also be red flags of substance abuse. Always be sure to ask questions, remain vigilant, and keep communication open with your teens.
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