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What is in your medicine cabinet?. By: Kalee Adams. In The News.

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in the news
In The News

At Justice High School in Boulder, CO there are five teens who are recovering from a drug overdose on prescription drugs. Police were called to the school because the kids were suspected of overdosing. Sarah Huntley, a spokeswoman for Boulder Police said, “"When paramedics got there they found students who were sick to their stomach, one of whom was vomiting quite a bit," One of the students had taken approximately five anti-inflammatory pills that were found in the parent’s medicine cabinet. The teen had brought the pills to school to give them to a friend. The five students involved were taken to the hospital for treatment. All of them are okay. This story was in the Colorado and Denver News on December 3, 2009.

This story found at cbs4denver.com Web site: http://cbs4denver.com/local/prescription.drug.overdose.2.1348928.html

Question to Ponder:What medications are in your medicine cabinet that your teen could potentially use to get high?
over the counter and prescription drug use facts
Over the Counter and Prescription Drug Use Facts
  • 2,500 teens a day use a prescription drug to get high
  • 2.1 million teens abused prescription drugs in 2006
  • About 1 in 11 teens have abused OTC drugs
  • Most commonly abused prescription drugs are pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and depressants
  • OTC and prescription drugs are easily accessible, inexpensive, and are thought by teens to be safer to use
popular otc and prescription drugs being used by teens
Popular OTC and Prescription Drugs being used by Teens
  • Diet pills
  • Tylenol, ibuprofen, or other pain relievers
  • Motion sickness medications
  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • OxyContin
  • Vicodin
  • Demerol
  • Ritalin
  • Codeine
  • Cold medications such as Sudafed
  • Cough medications such as Robitussin
signs that your teen may be abusing drugs
Signs that your teen may be abusing drugs
  • Missing medications from medicine cabinet
  • Grades begin to decline
  • Lack of money due to buying drugs
  • Mood swings
  • Sick feeling
  • Shaky
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Engaging in illegal activities
  • Change in interests, hobbies, and friends
  • Change in appearance and hygiene
effects of using otc and prescription drugs on the body
Effects of using OTC and prescription drugs on the body
  • Dependence on drug
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation
  • Slowed heart rate and respiration or irregular heart rate
  • Impaired motor function
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Dangerously high body temperature
  • Paranoia
  • Brain damage
  • Death
3 steps to help safeguard your teen
3 Steps to HelpSafeguard Your Teen
  • Step 1 – Monitor
    • Know how many pills are in your home
    • Keep track of any refills
    • Monitor dosages
    • Encourage family members to monitor their medications
3 steps to help safeguard your teen cont
3 Steps to HelpSafeguard Your Teen (cont.)
  • Step 2 – Secure
    • Hide medications in a secure place other than a medicine cabinet.
    • Keep medications in a locked cabinet that your teen does not have access to.
    • Encourage other family members to secure medications.
    • Encourage parents of your teenager’s friends to secure their medications.
3 steps to help safeguard your teen cont1
3 Steps to Help Safeguard Your Teen (cont.)
  • Step 3 – Dispose
    • Discard expired or unused medications.
    • To prevent a teenager or other person from refilling an unauthorized prescription, remove labels or other identifiable information from pill bottles and packages before discarding them.
tips for talking with your teen about otc and prescription drug use
Tips for Talking with Your Teen About OTC and Prescription Drug Use
  • Educate yourself first about drugs and the dangers of using the drugs.
  • Talk with your teen when you will not have to be rushed.
  • Ask your teen what he or she knows about OTC or prescription drugs.
  • Listen openly to your teen.
  • Establish rules and consequences with your teen about the use of drugs.
resources available if your teen is abusing otc or prescription drugs
Resources Available If Your Teen is Abusing OTC or Prescription Drugs
  • LaurelwoodHospital

200 Wisteria Drive

Gainesville, GA 30501


  • Prescription Drug Abuse Hotline

866-784-8911 (toll free)

  • The Pittard Clinic

1654 Falls Rd.

Toccoa, GA 30577


  • Toccoa Counseling Center

141 West Savannah St.

Toccoa, GA 30577


  • Avita Behavioral Health Services

1763 Fernside Drive

Toccoa, GA 30577



  • Becker, J. (2007). Prescription Drug Abuse Hotline. Retrieved December 30, 2009 from lhsfna.org Web site: http://www.lhsfna.org/index.cfm?objectID=B96A3294-D56F-E6FA-9A409D25A5377D4A
  • Boyd, S. (2009). Teens recovering after prescription drug overdose. Retrieved December 30, 2009 from cbs4denver.com Web site: http://cbs4denver.com/local/prescription.drug.overdose.2.1348928.html
  • Net Wellness (2009). What parents need to know about prescription and OTC drug abuse. Retrieved December 30, 2009 from netwellness.org Web site: http://www.netwellness.org/healthtopics/substanceabuse/dangerousdrugs.cfm
  • NIDA (2009). NIDA Info Facts: Prescription and Over-the-counter medications. Retrieved December 30, 2009 from nida.nih.gov Web site: http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofacts/PainMed.html
  • Partnerships for a Drug Free America (2008). Not in my house. Retrieved December 30, 2009 from drugfree.org Web site: http://www.drugfree.org/notinmyhouse/
  • SAMHSA. Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator. Retrieved December 30, 2009 from dasis3.samhsa.go Web site: http://dasis3.samhsa.gov/PrxInput.aspx?STATE=Georgia
  • Teen Prescription and OTC Drug Abuse (2008). How to talk to your teen about OTC drugs. Retrieved December 30, 2009 from teenoverthecounterdrugabuse.com Web site: http://www.teenoverthecounterdrugabuse.com/how-to-talk-to-your-teen-about-otc-drugs.html
  • Teen Prescription and OTC Drug Abuse (2008). Warning signs of teen OTC drug use. Retrieved December 30, 2009 from teenoverthecounterdrugabuse.com Web site: http://www.teenoverthecounterdrugabuse.com/warning-signs-teen-otc-drug-use.html