November 23, 2009 —

After a very exciting National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month this October, the Five Moms and I are looking forward to some down time with our families during Thanksgiving. The holiday not only provides time for R&R but also opportunities for long  face-to-face conversations without all the interruptions and activities that occupy our days the rest of the year.

Before you start clearing the table and turning on the football game this Thanksgiving, take some time to ask your teens about OTC cough medicine abuse. As we know from Blaise’s recent article, the dinner table is a great place for this discussion.

A good way to get started is to tell your family about a story you saw in the news, a public service announcement that ran on TV, or a recent Five Moms article you read. Use these references to start an ongoing discussion about OTC cough medicine abuse with your teens and the rest of your family. Ask them what they think of this form of abuse or if they have heard of other teens engaging in this behavior. Role play different ways to avoid situations in which your kids might be offered medicines or other substances to abuse. Explain your views about medicine abuse.

And, remember, what you say does matter to your teens. Research shows that teens who learn a lot about substance abuse in the home are up to 50 percent less likely to abuse.

How will you use your holiday time to start a discussion with your teen? Share your thoughts and advice on our Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/stopmedicineabuse.