Young people are gravitating towards Rx drugs because they are easy to access and they feel these drugs are safer than illegal drugs. In fact, opioids are as addictive as heroin and cocaine.
Most kids get prescription drugs from someone they know. According to research, 53% of persons 12 and older who abuse pain relievers get them for free from a parent or relative. Another 14.6% buy or take them from friends or relatives. Of course, sometimes they buy them from strangers, and more savvy kids are buying them via the internet, from pharmacy websites.
The best precaution is to talk to your child about the dangers of using drugs that aren’t prescribed for them and using those prescription drugs that are prescribed in the correct dosage. You should store your prescription medications in a safe place at home, where your kids and their friends can’t find them. (And remember—kids can find just about anything they put their minds to!) You can usually find a combination safe for less than $40. Throw out unused and old medication. Be sure to encourage your relatives and family friends to do the same.
* Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, last referenced 10/29/07.