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Kids who learn about the dangers of drug use early and often are much less likely to develop addiction than those who do not receive these critical messages at home. However, research shows these conversations tend not to include the topic of medicine abuse.
According to a national study, only 14 percent of teens indicated that during the last conversation they had with their parents regarding substance use, the misuse or abuse of any type of prescription drug was discussed. 1
You can’t shield your kids from finding out that street drugs, alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicine abuse exist — but you can help your child reject opportunities to try them.
Parents and other caretakers have an incredibly important role to play. We can all take action by having frequent conversations with the teens and young adults in our lives about the dangers of medicine abuse.
But we know these conversations are not always easy. In fact, they can be really challenging.
Take the following scenario for example:
You discover that your daughter has been taking a depressant not prescribed to her. When you ask her about it she says it’s because she works herself into a breathtaking frenzy whenever she’s stressed. Upon further questioning, she reveals the pills are from your medicine cabinet, and she calls you out for occasionally taking a pill or two from an old prescription to calm your own nerves.
What would you say? This is uncharted territory for most parents and caregivers.
To help educate and equip parents to have these difficult conversations, we created a complete Parent Talk Kit that you can download below. It includes ideas on how to start the conversation, what to say, how to say it and tips for addressing all the tough questions, including the one above. And the conversation can never start too early; the talk kit even includes tips on laying the groundwork for prevention with children as young as preschool age.
Download our Parent Talk Kit to learn how to help end medicine abuse and how to keep the teenagers and young adults in your life healthy and drug-free.