Prescription Drug Abuse in Colorado
Today our youth face many challenges, among them an addictive and even deadly epidemic stemming right from our medicine cabinets. Teen prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in Colorado that requires critical attention.
As a new statewide drug-prevention organization, Rise Above Colorado communicates with and educates teens about drug abuse so they can make smart, empowered choices — ultimately paving a path to a healthy future for Colorado’s teens without the negative influence of drugs.
Read on to find out how to make sure the teens in your life don’t have access to your medicines and to learn about the importance of having conversations with them about the risks.
Monitor, Secure and Dispose of Medications
Step 1: Monitor
- Make sure your friends and relatives — especially grandparents — are also aware of the risks. Encourage them to regularly monitor their own medicines.
Step 2: Secure
- If possible, keep all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet your teens, their friends and guests in your house cannot access.
Step 3: Dispose
- Keep any expired or unused prescription drugs in a secure location until you can get them to a permanent disposal site. Do not flush medicine down the toilet or sink drain.
- For a full list of precautions and to find a medicine take-back location near you visit http://riseaboveco.org/resources.html#parents
Talk to Your Teen
In addition to being mindful of your medications and taking the above steps, parents should talk to kids about the dangers and risks associated with prescription drug abuse. Not enough of these conversations are happening – less than 1 in 3 Colorado teens report talking with their parents about prescription drug abuse. When young people are educated about the dangers of drug misuse and abuse and are able to pass through adolescence without using drugs or alcohol, they are very unlikely to ever develop an addiction problem.
For tips about what to say visit http://www.drugfree.org/the-parent-toolkit/age-by-age-advice/
Connect Your Teen to Rise Above Colorado
As a statewide drug prevention organization, Rise Above Colorado aims to shape teens’ attitudes and perceptions about drugs through proactive education programs and campaigns to educate and share information and tips on healthy alternatives to drug use. Teens can connect with Rise Above Colorado by visiting www.riseaboveco.org.
Statistic #1 – Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Health Statistics Section (2012) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts Colorado (2012)
Statistic #2 – Colorado Teenage Drug Use & Attitudes Survey (2013).
Statistic #3 – Colorado Teenage Drug Use & Attitudes Survey (2013).
Statistic #4 – The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids