Did you know that one in 25 youth, ages 12 through 17, has abused cough medicine to get high?
October is Medicine Abuse Awareness Month.
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America reports teens are obtaining medications from family members and friends. More than one-half of the nonmedical users of pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives aged 12 or older got the prescription drugs they most recently used “from a friend or relative for free.” Some teens believe that abusing over the counter or prescription medications are safer than abusing illicit ones, but the physical and psychological realities of any drug abuse and addiction are devastating and can ruin a young person’s future aspirations.
The Seven Strategies for Effective Community Change within the context of preventing and deterring medicine abuse are to provide information so this issue is on the community’s radar, to enhance prevention skills, provide support to youth and the people who work with them, change access and barriers because proper medication storage helps to ensure that teens and family members are kept safe, change consequences by offering incentives for medication disposal, change physical design by providing drug take back days and medication lockboxes and modify and change policies by targeting lawmakers, state and local public officials, employers and others involved in setting rules and regulations.