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Monday, January 28, 2013

Parents Have Little Concern About Child Prescription Drug Misuse

The United States is in a grip of a prescription drug epidemic and unfortunately it seems like parents are not as concerned as they should be. Just one-third are very concerned about the misuse of prescribed narcotic pain medicine by children and teens in their community a new survey found, according to HealthDay. Only one-fifth are very concerned about the misuse of these drugs in their own families.

University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital conducted the national survey of more than 1,300 parents with children ages 15 to 17. According to the findings, 38 percent of black parents, 26 percent of Hispanic parents, and 13 percent of white parents are very concerned about the misuse of narcotic painkillers in their own families. Prescription drug misuse has been shown to be three times higher among white teens than black or Hispanic teens, according to the researchers.

66 percent of respondents strongly support requiring parents to show identification when they pick up narcotic painkillers for their children, and 57 percent strongly support policies that would ban obtaining prescriptions for the medicines from more than one doctor, according to the survey.

They found 41 percent of parents favor a policy that would require a doctor’s visit to obtain refills on these medications, with about half saying they do not support a requirement that unused pain medicines be returned to a doctor or pharmacy.

“Recent estimates are that one in four high school seniors have ever used a narcotic pain medicine. However, parents may downplay the risks of narcotic pain medicine because they are prescribed by a doctor,” Sarah Clark, Associate Director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the University of Michigan, said in a news release. “However, people who misuse narcotic pain medicine are often using drugs prescribed to themselves, a friend or a relative. That ‘safe’ prescription may serve as a readily accessible supply of potentially lethal drugs for children or teens.”
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