October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Parents: did you know that 1 in 30 youth ages 12 through 17 has misused cough medicine to get high from its dextromethorphan ingredient?

Over-the-counter cough medicine can have negative outcomes if misused. Securely store and monitor cough medicine in the home to prevent misuse.

We encourage parents, guardians and caregivers of youth to secure and monitor both prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to review the labels on medications in their medicine cabinets

http://www.stopmedicineabuse.org

Make sure you are doing your part to keep your community safe by securing all medications in the home and disposing of medications properly.
We encourage parents and guardians to know the slang terms that are used to describe cough syrup misuse

Pet owners: did you know that the medication the veterinarian prescribed for your pet can be misused by people trying to get high?
Make sure that all medications, for both humans and animals, are securely stored out of sight and out of reach.

Rx and OTC Misuse Talking Points for Parents/Caregivers of Youth

October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Parents and adult caregivers need to be educated about this problem, as well as their role in preventing it.
Below are important things to consider.
Talking points for parents and adult caregivers when talking to youth about substance use

Preschool to Age 7

Before you get nervous about talking to young kids, take heart. You’ve probably already laid the groundwork for a discussion. For instance, whenever you give a fever medicine or an antibiotic to your child, you can discuss why and when these medicines should be given. This is also a time when your child is likely to pay attention to your behavior and guidance.

Take advantage of “teachable moments” now. If you see a character in a movie or on TV with a cigarette, talk about smoking, nicotine addiction, and what smoking does to a person’s body. This can lead into a discussion about other drugs and how they could cause harm.

Keep the tone of these discussions calm and use terms that your child can understand. Be specific about the effects of the drugs: how they make a person feel, the risk of overdose, and the other long-term damage they can cause. To give your kids these facts, you might have to do a little research.

Ages 8 to 12

As your kids grow older, you can begin talks with them by asking them what they think about drugs. By asking the questions in a nonjudgmental, open-ended way, you’re more likely to get an honest response.

Remember to show your kids that you’re listening and really paying attention to their concerns and questions.

Kids this age usually are still willing to talk openly to their parents about touchy subjects. Starting a dialogue now helps keep the door open as kids get older and are less inclined to share their thoughts and feelings.

Even if your questions don’t immediately result in a discussion, you’ll get your kids thinking about the issue. Show them that you’re willing to discuss the topic and hear what they have to say. Then, they might be more willing to come to you for help in the future.

News, such as steroid use in professional sports, can be springboards for casual conversations about current events. Use these discussions to give your kids information about the risks of drugs.

Ages 13 to 17

Kids this age are likely to know other kids who use alcohol or drugs, and to have friends who drive. Many are still willing to express their thoughts or concerns with parents about it. They may ask you more specific questions about drugs.

Use these conversations not only to understand your child’s thoughts and feelings, but also to talk about the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Talk about the legal issues — jail time and fines — and the possibility that they or someone else might be killed or seriously injured.

Consider making a written or verbal contract on the rules about going out or using the car. You can promise to pick your kids up at any time (even 2 a.m.!), no questions asked, if they call you when the person responsible for driving has been drinking or using drugs.

The contract also can detail other situations: For example, if you find out that someone drank or used drugs in your car while your son or daughter was behind the wheel, you may want to suspend driving privileges for 6 months. By discussing all of this with your kids from the start, you eliminate surprises and make your expectations clear.

For any questions or concerns about substance use or mental health please reach out to us and we can direct you to get qualified and accurate information.

CADCA Breakout Session: Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medicine Safety, Engaging Youth About Responsible Medicine Use

Through an information session we learned of an over-the-counter medication safety curriculum sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and Scholastic. The information shared here is essential when we work with community leaders, parents and guardians, in regards to the storage and securing of OTC in the home.

This curriculum can be delivered in small groups in as little as 45 minutes but can be expanded to include more information for a three hour session. There are promotional items, literature and engaging small group sessions designed to inform and educate about issues related to unsecured OTC.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) medicines, when taken as directed are generally safe, but when taken incorrectly can cause significant harm. Research suggests that children begin to self-administer medication at age 11. Over 20,000 kids per year need medical attention due to medicine misuse.