In 2008, the Partnership for a Drug Free America reported that one in five teens had abused a prescribed pain medication, and one in ten teens had admitted to abusing cough syrup. These startling statistics indicate that it’s extremely important for parents to keep their homes free of substances that could possibly be used for harmful purposes. Following some practical tips could help you keep your home drug-free, and set a positive example for your children.
One of the first things you can do is keep all the family medicine in a secure place where your children can’t have access to the medicine unless you administer it. A portable safe or medicine cabinet with a key are ideal locations for storing medications. Keeping over-the-counter or prescription medicines in common areas like the guest bathroom or kitchen creates easy access for teens to abuse pain pills or cough syrups.
Purchasing herbal alternatives to certain medications will also reduce the chances that members of your household will start abusing prescription drugs. And if your teen isn’t tempted to use over-the-counter pills to get high, he/she may be less tempted to try illegal drugs. Instead of cough syrup, stock up on vitamin C, quercetin and Echinacea to get rid of colds, flu and allergies. For pain, buy willow bark or St. John’s wort. These natural remedies are not habit-forming, and usually have less side effects than prescriptions.
Open conversation and model behavior can also help you keep your home free of illegal substances. Talk to your kids about the dangers of doing drugs. Explain that “drugs” aren’t just the dangerous chemicals seen in movies; they can include pain pills, cold medicine, and marijuana. Let your kids know that these items can cause serious harm, especially when used in excess. Most importantly, don’t let your kids see you abusing drugs or drinking heavily. This sends a contradictory message, and could lead your teens into developing destructive habits.
Complete Drug Testing Solutions has everything you need to administer drug tests within the privacy of your own home.