People Who Live With Someone Taking Painkillers More Likely to Get Own Prescription
A new study finds that people who live with someone with a prescription for opioid painkillers are more likely to get their own prescription for opioids.
An estimated 56 percent of parents in a Massachusetts survey say their children have access to parents’ prescription drugs at home. One in seven parents say they have given their children pain medication that was not prescribed for their child, The Boston Globe reports. The study surveyed 300 parents of children 12-25 years old who were living at home.
The survey was released by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids during a briefing at the Massachusetts State House. “The survey findings are alarming and indicate that parents are often providing prescription drugs to their kids in an improper and dangerous manner,” Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, said in a news release. “Add to that their acknowledgment that their children have ready access to potentially dangerous pain relievers, and we have a high-risk situation in homes across the Commonwealth. Parents need to be aware of what can happen under their own roof and play a more active role in safeguarding medications in their homes.”
According to Pasierb, more Massachusetts residents die from fatal overdoses than from car accidents each year. An average of 12 people in the state die each week from overdoses from opioid painkillers.
The survey found 27 percent of parents said they have taken prescriptions pain medications not prescribed for them, and 30 percent still have unused pain medication at home. Only 19 percent have had discussions with grandparents about safeguarding medicines in their homes.