Steps To Protect Your Family From Opioid Abuse
We all know someone struggling with opioid or heroin addiction. With 142 Americans dying every day from an opioid overdose, drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for Americans under age 50. With these alarming stats, it is of utmost importance to take steps to safeguard your family from the opioid epidemic.
Monitor Current Medications
Take inventory of the medications and prescriptions in your home. Make sure only current prescriptions are in the home and no “old “ prescriptions are saved to share or use again in the future. With current prescriptions, keep track of how many pills are remaining at time periods that are easy for you to keep account. On the outside label of the medication, writing the number of pills remaining with the date is a good idea. This is a good way for you to know how many pills are remaining plus it discourages the thought that pills can “disappear” with you not realizing they are gone.
If you have a child or teenager that has a current prescription, control the dosage and refills. Be aware that doctor prescribed opioid use before high school graduation increases the risk of future opioid misuse. After talking with your doctor about your concerns of prescribing an opioid to your child, if it is still deemed necessary for your child to take an opioid for a brief period of time, make sure the opioid is taken as directed. At the end of the prescription period if any pills are remaining, DO NOT save them. Keep them in your control until you have properly disposed of the medication.
Disposal of Medication
Protect your family by safely disposing all unused or expired medications. If a safe drug disposable program is not available in your community, dispose of the medications at home. Be sure to remove all labels from the prescription bottles or packages before they are thrown away. As far as unused medicine, mix it with substances such as coffee grounds, kitty litter, or dirt. Place in a zip top bag and throw in the trash. DO NOT flush the medicine down the drain or toilet.
Talk To Your Kids About Drugs
Even though your kids will be educated about drug use at school, it is also important to talk to your children about drug use and medicine abuse at home. It is crucial to maintain open communication with your child when they are young and let them know you are always there to listen. Give your child a loving home environment and be involved in their lives. You need to know their friends and where they are spending their time. Kids who have friends that use drugs are likely to use drugs also. Remember, you are a role model for your kids. Your views and use of drugs, alcohol, and medicine use will mold their views also. Make age appropriate conversation about drugs a part of the normal health and safety discussions.
Opioid Dependence Can Happen To Anyone
Even if as a parent you have done all the “right things” to educate and protect your kids against drug use, kids can still develop opioid dependence or addiction as opioids are highly addictive. If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin or opioid abuse, make the bold steps toward sobriety and contact AMC today. Anyone suffering from opioid drugs or heroin dependence can be treated effectively with medication-assisted treatment combined with counseling, support, and individualized recovery plans. Your confidential call will start the process of taking your life back!