A visit from family isn’t supposed to be your worst nightmare come true! But what if they arrive with “extra baggage”, a.k.a, prescription medications?
Years ago, my husband’s elderly grandmother came for a lengthy visit. We felt the visit went well after we safely delivered her to her home.
Then we discovered our preschool- aged daughter in our guest room with a pill in her hand. Our hearts nearly stopped when we realized she could have swallowed that pill — prescription heart meds. One pill accidentally dropped on the floor could have ended in tragedy! After a total cleaning and vacuuming of the room, our hands stopped shaking.
Today she’s sporting a new set of braces and wincing in pain. Yes, she needs pain meds, though not the prescription type.
She’s almost a teen. Still, we’re not keen on giving her unlimited access to the Tylenol bottle. Like any responsible parent, we’re painfully aware of the epidemic of drug experimentation and usage among teens. We dole out her pain meds personally.
Did you know that more deaths each year occur due to accidental drug overdoses than car accidents?
The Centers for Disease Control states that 91 Americans die every day from drug overdoses. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html
It’s a problem that’s not going away. In fact, the CDC says that drug overdose deaths have quadrupled in the past fifteen years. That’s astounding!
Sometimes accidental overdose happens with the chronically ill or the elderly who mix up the times, amounts, or combinations of prescription meds.
However, for the young and restless, accidental drug overdose is more often a case of foolish experimentation or pressure from friends.
According to a 2013 survey reported on WebMD, more than 5 million teens admitted to abusing prescription drugs. http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20130423/prescription-drug-abuse-up-among-us-teens-survey#1
What’s a parent to do?
- Keep a close eye on and find a safe place for prescription pain meds in the house. A locked cupboard is a great idea! As cancer and other chronic illnesses are on the rise, pain meds are necessary and more accessible. Even common injuries can spawn leftover pain meds. It may be time to double check and empty out your stash. Many police departments have a “no questions asked” drop off box for extra prescription meds.
- Talk to your teen. (Use bribery like pizza and ice cream, but just do it!) Let them know that pain meds and alchohol don’t mix — it’s enough to slow or even stop your body from breathing. Talk about toxic drug mixes. Talk about drinking, drugs, and driving. Ignorance is not bliss! If you have grave concerns, find an EMT or police officer who sees the havoc and heartbreak of drug overdoses on a first- hand basis. Ask if they will deliver straight talk to your teen.
- Get to know your teen’s friends. This takes time and careful planning. We’re not just talking cyber-spying. (All’s fair in love and war, though). Be fun and friendly!
- Set the example. Treat prescription drugs like a loaded gun, not a party favor. Only use as necessary.
- Tell your teen about Missouri’s new “Good Samaritan Law” which passed in May of 2017. If you or someone you love calls 911 to report a drug overdose, they will not be charged with drug possession! This is a potential life-saver!
No one wants their child to be the next drug overdose statistic!
What if you or someone you love has already “blown it”? Facing drug charges in Missouri? You need the help of an experienced, local criminal defense attorney. http://steimel-law.com/criminal-defense.html
You wlil find Attorney Steimel has extensive legal knowledge and will aggressively fight for your rights in court.
Call The Law Offices of Nathan A. Steimel, LLC today for a free initial consultation. (636)244-3737
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