According to the PartnershipTM for Drug-Free Kids, two-thirds of teens who report abuse of prescription medicine are getting them from friends, family and acquaintances. Because medicines can be found in medicine cabinets, top of dressers, and kitchen cabinets, take steps to ensure that all medications are monitored and secured. Properly dispose of unused and expired prescriptions and Over-The-Counter (OTC) drugs in your home.
Monitor - Take note of how many pills are in each of your prescription bottles or pill packets. Keep track of refills. If you find you need to refill your medicine more often than expected, that could indicate a problem. Be especially vigilant with medicines that are known to be addictive. Make sure your friends and relatives are also aware of the risks.
Secure - Be proactive about securing prescriptions the same way you would other valuables in your home. Take prescription medicine out of the medicine cabinet and secure them in a place only you know about. If possible, keep all medicines in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet.
Dispose - Safely dispose of expired or unused medicine. Take an inventory of all the medicine in your home. Start by discarding expired and unused Rx and OTC medicine. Participate in a safe drug disposal program. Find the center nearest you and dispose of your medicine properly. Or find out about upcoming drug take-back day facilitated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
If you do suspect that medicine is missing, here are some ways to get the conversation started with your family.