Prescription Drug Dangers: What Parents Need to Know
>> Be sure to continue reading about San Diego's Prescription Drug Addiction Epidemic.
This information is provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration and San Diego’s Prescription Drug Task Force.
Warning Signs to Watch for:
Withdrawal from family
Drop in academic/work performance
Loss of interest in things that were once important
Loss of motivation/always tired
Money issues – users become very manipulative and use every excuse to get money. Question what they’ve bought and have them show it to you, then ask to see the item again in two days (some kids will sell it for money).
Stories that don’t make sense
Physical Warning Signs of Use or Withdrawal
Extreme loss of appetite/weight
Sunken in eyes
Frequently sick (flu-like symptoms)
May appear intoxicated with no signs of alcohol use
Poor complexion, sickly appearance or scabs
Falling asleep at odd times
Tremors, twitching, excessive scratching
How You Can Protect Your Kids
Be a parent, not a friend.
Talk to them about the dangers of drugs. Don’t assume your child is immune to this problem.
LISTEN to your kids.
Attend informational meetings with your teens.
Monitor your kids’ activities - know where they are and who they’re with.
Drug test your kids. Administering regular drug tests will give your kids the “out” they need to say no to drugs.
Lock up your medications.
Check emails and social networking accounts, bedrooms, bathrooms, cars and backpacks.
Check text messages for these common slang terms for Oxycodone (OxyContin): OCs, 80s, Beans, Ox, Cookies, Oscars, Dootins or any two words starting with OC (ie: Orange Crayons).
Know the distance between your house and Mexico. Check the odometer in your child’s car.
DEA Drug Abuse Hotline: 877-662-6384
San Diego’s Oxy Task Force Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Diego-CA/Oxy-Task-Force/101481557734)
San Dieguito School District READI (Recovery Education and Alcohol/Drug Instruction) Program: http://teachers.sduhsd.net/READI
Drug Education Websites:
>>UPDATE: Watch an informative video from Parents360 Rx and find out what parents should look for and educate themselves on the real dangers of medicine abuse and ways to prevent and respond to it.
Lisa Gipson is a freelance writer, part of the SDFM staff and mother of three daughters.
updated: July 23, 2010