Quite frequently youngsters merely open the medicine cabinet and there before them is a variety of drugs available for the taking: pain pills for post gum surgery; sleeping pills from an overseas airplane trip; cough medicine from last season’s flu. The time to act is now. You are the key to your child’s drug-free future.
Take the following preventative steps:
- Remove drugs from your medicine cabinet and hide them, lock them up or take them out of your house.
- Safeguard all medicines that have to remain at home by monitoring quantities and controlling access.
- Take inventory by writing down the names and amounts of medications you currently have and regularly check to see if anything is missing.
- If your child is on prescribed medication, monitor the dosages and refills. Set clear rules, such as, not sharing and always following proper dosages.
- Warn your youngsters that taking prescription or OTC drugs without a doctor’s supervision can be just as dangerous and potentially lethal as taking street drugs.
- Supervise your child’s Internet use: many pharmacy sites are not regulated and will sell your child medications without prescriptions.
- Properly dispose of old, expired or unused medicines in the trash. Hide or mix them with cat litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away in an empty can or bag. DO NOT flush medications down the drain or toilet, unless the label indicates it is safe to do so.