Do you have a teen in the house who is prone to drug use or even just curious about it? One thing you probably haven’t thought about that you need to think about is your medicine cabinet. Your medicine cabinet can be a plethora of drugs for the taking. Maybe you have cough medicine that can cause intoxication if too much is taken. Maybe you have sleeping pills from the last long flight you took. Maybe you have pain pills from that knee surgery.
You need to be aware of these things, and you need to take action to prevent your teen from getting into any drug abuse. If it is not easily accessible to your teen, the chances that he or she will abuse it are slim to none.
So what can you do? Here are some tips that will help you.
1. Don’t have it in the house.5
If you can, remove drugs from your medicine cabinet and don’t have them in the house. Maybe you want to keep them at work. Maybe you want to keep them at a friend’s house. Maybe you want to simply hide them and keep them in a more secure location. Make them difficult for your kids to access.
2. Take an inventory.
If you have to have drugs in the house, write down all of the drugs that you have and the amount you have so that you’ll notice if there are any missing. Monitor the quantities and control the access.
3. Monitor your child’s medication.
Some children may be on a medication such as ADHD meds or benzodiazepines. These are for legitimate psychiatric reasons, and these medications can be helpful if not abused. You need to establish some rules, though, so that your child will not abuse the medications or share them with others. Make sure you are monitoring all refills and dosages.
4. Talk to your children.
Some people think that drugs are perfectly okay to take if they are prescribed. Have a talk with your teenager so that he or she will understand that prescription medications can be just as dangerous–sometimes even fatal–as street drugs if not taken properly or if taken when not prescribed.
5. Properly dispose of unused or expired medicines.
You may want to hide these medications, mixing them with coffee grounds or cat litter, before you throw them away into empty trash cans or bags. You definitely don’t want to ever flush medicine down the toilet unless it is safe to do so.