the health & safety of your children
Though prescription opioid abuse is often thought of as a problem for older adults, the majority of opioid abuse occurs with young people ages 12 through 25, most of whom are likely to acquire prescription opioids from relatives or friends. For this reason, it is especially important for parents who take prescription painkillers to safely store their medications and properly dispose of any unused pills.
Focus on prevention when your children are young by taking an active interest in their lives. Spend time with them and learn about activities they are involved in and the friends they spend time with. Encourage your children to stay active in school activities, sports, and community events. Don’t be afraid to discuss drugs and alcohol, to set firm rules against substance use and abuse and to impose consequences for substance use when rules are violated.
The signs and symptoms of addiction vary from person to person. Still, make note of any sudden changes in your child’s behavior, changes in their circle of friends, poor academic performance, trouble with law enforcement, and changes to eating, sleeping, and grooming habits. Make sure to facilitate a constructive dialogue and to seek the assistance of professionals in the field of addiction if you suspect substance use disorder.