While your child might not be predisposed to addiction or abusing drugs, he or she probably has friends that are.
These days, the typical young adult has endured the death of at least one friend or relative due to drug overdose or other drug related cause including accidents and suicide. Many of them more than that.
Drugs are all around the teen and young adult population and we are in the middle of a serious addiction epidemic. For that reason, it’s important to be educated and understand the environment your kids are in by participating in prevention efforts. Because while your kid might not be abusing, what’s in your cabinet might be worth a lot on the street, friends of theirs to steal them or abuse them.
1. Don’t let underage kids drink or smoke pot in your home
Period. I understand you might think this is safer because they can’t get a DUI in your basement. I understand many think, “they do it in Europe and they don’t have a problem” which is a huge myth. I understand you feel they will “do this anyway.” But why make it easy?
It’s not OK and here’s why. Kids under 25 are more susceptible to addiction. In fact, 15-18% more likely to become addicted to a substance compared with 10% for adults. Would you want to be responsible for someone starting their addiction in your basement? While legalizing marijuana is still under debate in most states, all experts agree alcohol and drugs are not good for the developing brain so don’t allow it in your home and drug test your kids and set consequences.
2. Do not let your child have opiates (aka Narcotics) after wisdom teeth removal
Again, they can become addicted to opiates and then move to heroin after wisdom teeth removal. One tylenol and one advil is all anyone needs. If you want to know more about this, see this article.
Careful after surgery as well. That’s how a number of drug addictions of athletes start. If your child has to have them after orthopedic surgery, make sure it’s no longer than a 3-day supply. Discuss ahead of time and ask your surgeon. And if your surgeon has a cavalier attitude about your asking, you might need a different surgeon.
3. Keep alcohol locked up
That’s usually the first thing kids try. It’s easiest to sneak it from parents and it is still responsible for the most deaths. Water bottles can be stored in plain sight with vodka and many of them will do this. If you “need” alcohol to relax, maybe it’s time you explored your own relationship with alcohol.
4. Lock up the dog’s medicine
Tramadol is an opiate and make sure anything else prescribed for your dog is locked up, too.
5. Take a look in your medicine cabinet
There are many drugs of abuse in there you had no idea had abuse potential. If you want to know more about what can be abused other than your prescription drugs, see this post. These are often prescribed. However, if you have other siblings and teens in the house, they can be swiped and “skimmed.”
Lock up and make sure your unused or expired medications are properly disposed. Don’t forget grandparent’s cabinets and the pain medicines of hospice patients. These are frequent targets of teen theft.
There are bags offered by many area heroin task forces for disposing of medications as well as options for drug disposal throughout the year.
Approximately 80 percent of the global opioid supply is consumed in the United States. Sometimes called narcotics, some opioids are:
- Vicodin (acetaminophen and hydrocodone),
- Percocet (Oxycodone and Acetaminophen)
- OxyContin (oxycodone)
- Duramorph, DepoDur, Astramorph, and Infumorph (Morphine)
- Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone)
- Dilaudid (Hydromorphone Hydrochloride)
- Codeine cough syrup
- Ultram (Tramadol – Also used for canines)
- Demerol (Meperidine)
- Nucynta (Tapentadol)
Lortab, an opiate in pill form, is ordered for a cough. Ask for a non-narcotic cough syrup instead (Acetaminophen / Hydrocodone)
Used to treat anxiety and sleep problems:
- Xanax (Alprazolam)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Klonopin (Clonazepam)
- Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Restoril (temazepam)
Used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy:
- Adderall,Dexedrine, ProCentra, Dextrostat, Dexedrine or Zenzedi (Amphetamine/ Dextroamphetamine) Prescribed for your child’s ADHD but you need to make sure it’s not “skimmed” by other kids that come into your home
- Ritalin and Concerta (Methylphenidate)
- Metadate CD (methylphenidate hydrochloride)
- Focalin (Dexmethylphenidate)
- Desoxyn (Methamphetamine)
- Vyvanse (Lisdexamfetamine)