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Monday, June 17, 2013

Parents Do Not Supervise Prescription Medications

Most teenagers gain access to prescription narcotics for the first time in their own home. Research has shown that a number of parents are not concerned about the risk of their children getting hold of prescription drugs that have the potential for abuse. Furthermore, a new survey of eighth and ninth graders prescribed medication showed that 83.4 percent of teens say they have unsupervised access to the drugs at home.

73.7 percent took: pain relief, anti-anxiety, stimulant, and sedative medication that can be extremely dangerous, Science Daily reports. The survey was conducted online and in-person with 230 teens.

“It was surprising to me that parents were not storing medications securely because I expected them to be locked up and for parents to administer the medications,” said lead researcher Paula Ross-Durow, PhD, of the University of Michigan.

Parents are not thinking about their teens’ friends coming into their homes and stealing medications, nor the fact that teens give their prescription drugs away. They also may not realize their friends may sell the drugs, according to Ross-Durow.

“It is critical that clinicians educate parents and patients about the importance of proper storage and disposal of medications, particularly those with abuse potential,” the researchers conclude.

The report is published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
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