October is being recognized amongst the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) as “Talk About Your Medicines” month. As the first ever direct access lab testing services company, we strongly believe in the importance of patient education on medicine. Knowing the risks and benefits associated with the medicines you are taking allows you to understand exactly what you are putting into your body, determine what dosage is right for you and ultimately empower you to truly take control of your health.
Time and time again, patients and especially teenagers, hold a belief that if a doctor prescribes a drug or medication it must be safe – even if not prescribed for that person. This common overlook has, unfortunately, factored into this staggering statistic: 1 in 4 teens report to having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime.
The underlying question now is, “How can we prevent this from happening in the future? And in our child’s future?” For parents with teenagers, the conversation needs to start at home. Sadly, studies show that there is a general disconnect between teenagers and their parents on many topics, including medicine abuse. We challenge you to eliminate the disconnect now. By starting the discussion on medicine misuse and abuse at home, your children can begin to develop a clear understanding of the dangers associated with each. Thus, preparing them to appropriately handle any interaction with prescription drugs in the future that they may be involved in.
Do you need help talking to your teen? Start with the Partnership at Drugfree.Kids’ Parent Toolkit for assistance on how to have that hard conversation or call their Parents Toll-Free Helpline, 855-DRUGFREE. Our Trust, But Verify program can also help with any concerns you may face as a parent. As a local partner to The Medicine Abuse Project, we encourage you to learn more about what you can do in the fight to stop medicine misuse.