Ways to Protect Your Medicine Cabinet
Many parents are concerned about their child getting access to hard drugs such as cocaine or heroin. The truth is that there are probably addictive substances in your medicine cabinet right now. The same type of substances that have become increasingly popular amongst teenagers. A disturbing number of young adults have been abusing the medicine cabinet to get a cheap and accessible high. If you want to make sure that you keep your medicine cabinet safe, follow these steps.
Make Sure that You Take Inventory
It is important to track and document every over-the-counter and prescription medication that you have in your house. It is a good idea to have a specific list of the number of pills that are in each pill packet or bottle. If you have any medications in your home that are commonly abused (such as cough and cold medicines, Vicodin and other painkillers, Adderall and other stimulants) you want to pay close attention to those.
Control the Medication
There is no denying that someone is going to need an over-the-counter or prescription medicine to treat an illness at some point. There is nothing wrong with getting the refills yourself and monitoring the dosage. As far as cough medication is concerned, it is important to be aware of teenagers requesting medication outside of the cold and flu season or after their initial symptoms subside.
Get the Family Involved
If you have other relatives with teens who come over often or who your teenagers spend a lot of time with at their homes, make sure that you talk with them about issues as they pertain to teenage substance abuse. Grandparents tend to take more medications, make sure that you address your concerns with them. Ask them to track their medication use and explain the risk of OTC and prescription drug abuse.
Make Sure that You Secure Your Cabinet
When it comes to your cash and jewelry, you make sure that you lock those up for safekeeping. It is time that we treat our medication the same way. Place everything in a single known location, perhaps lock the medication in a cabinet or drawer where easy access is just not possible.
Be Careful when Discarding
It is possible that teens are tempted to retrieve unneeded or expired medicine from the trash. You do not want to put them in the toilet or down the drain because it may hurt the environment. If you want to make sure that you make people hesitant about re-using a medication, mix them with an undesirable substance. Alternatively, you can bring them back to the pharmacy where they will discard them for you.
Protect Your Own Privacy
If you do get rid of your prescription medication, make sure that you destroy or remove any personal information that may be present on the labels. This ensures no one is able to obtain unauthorized refills in your name.