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For Parents & Family

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You have a role to play. Don’t stand idly by.

The Truth About Prescription Drug Sources

Prescription drugs are legal. That makes them much more accessible.

43% of teens indicate prescription drugs are easier to acquire than illegal street drugs.

65% of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from family and friends.

You can make a difference in your home, friendships and community by taking a few steps to ensure you are not a source for prescription drugs. More importantly, if you suspect a family member or friend is abusing prescription drugs, you can be their first step to recovery.



  • Take note of how many pills you have left in your prescription bottles.
  • Keep track of your personal refills.
  • Discuss this tracking process with others in your family
  • Parents: if your teen has been prescribed a medication, monitor their dosages.


  • Secure your prescription and over-the-counter drugs, preferably in a locked cabinet or a location that only you know about.
  • Check pill quantities frequently to look for anomalies.
  • Discuss this strategy with grandparents and friends to limit potential access.


  • Remove identification and refill information from pill bottles before your dispose of them.
  • Discard expired and unwanted prescription drugs safely and securely, preferably on a day that your trash will be picked up.
  • Mix pills with something less desirable like kitty litter.
  • Parents: if your teen has been prescribed a medication, monitor their dosages.
-from Not In My House (link)


You are the first line of defense. Let the person know that you are aware of the issue. They will probably display resistance and denial, but this is normal. The most important thing they need if you to stand with them as they move beyond the addiction. For more information about how to talk to your teenage prescription abuser, click here.

Do you want to start the conversation at an earlier age with your children? Click here for age-by-age advice.


Every person’s situation is unique. You might need to consult with an expert for personalized help and advice on dealing with your family or friend who is abusing prescription drugs. DrugFree.org sponsors a toll-free help line to help friends and family deal with drug abuse. For more information, click here and here.


Sometimes, treatment programs are the best way to help your loved ones get through their difficult prescription drug abuse time. The Treatment Referral Helpline (1-800-662-HELP)—offered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—refers callers to treatment facilities, support groups, and other local organizations that can provide help for their specific needs. You can also locate treatment centers in your state by clicking here.


The DEA/Justice Department has put together a valuable resource for parents. Everything you need to know about your teens and prescription drug abuse is available for download here.Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 11.38.59 PM

Step in. Let’s stop prescription abuse.