WebMD Parents’ Checklist: Prevent Teen Medicine Abuse

When I’m in the community talking with parents about cough medicine abuse, I’m always asked the same question: how can I prevent my teen from abusing medicine? As parents or concerned adults, it’s our job to look out for children and make sure we’re providing the guidance they need to make the right decisions. Therefore, in order to encourage the right behaviors, we first have to know enough about the issue before we can communicate effectively and safeguard our children and homes.

Talking with your teens makes them 50 percent less likely to abuse drugs, but having these types of conversations can be very intimidating. Many times parents tell me that they don’t know what to say, or how to approach the conversation. Parenting is hard, and there is no manual that tells you how to raise your children. Fortunately, there are resources available which can help you learn about the issues facing teens today, including medicine abuse.

The popular health website, WebMD, has a great resource for parents called the Parents’ Checklist which outlines steps to take to prevent medicine abuse. For example, did you know that teens often get the medicines they abuse from their family cabinet? In order to prevent teen medicine abuse, it’s important to take a multi-layered approach which includes education, communication, and action. A few of the steps that the checklist recommends include:

  • Get rid of medicines you don’t use
  • Model good behavior
  • Monitor your child’s use of the Internet
  • Think about your community
  • Talk to your teen

To learn more, visit the WebMD Teen Drug Abuse of Cough and Cold Medicine section and add the Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook page to your favorites.