You’re confident your teens are good kids, that they would never be involved with drugs. Just because 1 out of every 5 12th graders have misused prescription drugs, doesn’t mean that your teens are experimenting. Even if you’re certain your kids know the dangers of prescription medication and would never mess with it, it’s still important to think about medicine storage in your home.
Your own teens aren’t the only people in your home who may be tempted by your pill bottles.
Addicts can go to extreme lengths to get ahold of prescription pills, which makes pill theft a very real concern. You may be surprised by who else can get into your medicine cabinet.
7 People You Never Realized Had Access To Your Pill Bottles
#1: Your Teen’s Friends
Not everyone who abuses prescription drugs gets their pills from home. 16.6% of Rx users bought or stole their prescription medication from a friend. If your kid has friends over and they see your prescription sitting out on the nightstand, they may be tempted to lift a pill or two. Plus, peer pressure has a huge impact on whether or not kids experiment with drugs. It’s just as important to make sure your teen’s friends know prescriptions are dangerous as your own teen.
#2: Teenage Neighbors
Does the girl next door mow your lawn? Perhaps the neighbor’s son dropped in a few weeks back to borrow some eggs? You may have neighbors in and out of your home all of the time without ever considering that they may have alternative motives. When your teenage neighbors pop in and ask to use your bathroom, they have access to your pills.
Locking up your medicines can be an effective way to protect yourself against having your pills stolen by people who visit your home.
#3: The Pet Sitter
Everything is set for your big family vacation. You’ve hired someone to take care of the dog and water the plants while you’re gone. The bags are packed. You’ve brought the prescriptions you’ll need with you, but everything else is at home on the counter.
Before you leave, take a moment to think about whether or not all of that medication you’re leaving behind is locked up and stored securely. Otherwise the pet sitter or house sitter has access to all of your medications while you’re gone.
#4: The Handyman
We invite in-home workers into our houses to help us with chores and repairs all the time. Take a moment to think about who passes through your house in a given week.
If the washer is leaking, you call a handyman to fix it. When you need the plumbing or the electricity fixed, you call a specialist. Maybe your kids have a nanny in the afternoon, or the gardener comes by once a week.
When you have people you don’t know coming in and out of your house on a regular basis, medicines left out and unsecured are in jeopardy.
#5: The Hotel Maid
When you’re traveling, keep your medicine in bottles with locking caps or place them in a lockbox to make sure they aren’t left unsecured while you’re out for the day.
When hotel staff is in your room it’s easy for an addict to lift a couple pills or for unsecured bottles to get misplaced while the room is being cleaned. By making sure your medicines are locked up and stored safely in your luggage, you can help make sure that you don’t fall victim to pill theft.
#6: Extended Family
Even if you don’t have kids, good prescription storage can make sure the other teenagers in your life are safe. Do you have cousins visiting for the holidays? Do you nieces and nephews come by in the summer to use the pool? Locking up your pill bottles and storing them out of site helps keep your extended family safe, and helps protects your medication from theft.
When you have a houseguest staying, your visitors have access to any medicine you leave out. When your best friend flies in and brings his teens along, or an old college buddy comes to stay for the weekend, make sure you keep your meds in a medicine lock box and stored safely out of site.
Even if you don’t have children or if you’re confident your teens know the dangers of prescription medication, it’s important to think about safe medicine storage. Keeping your medications in a lockbox sends the important message that your house isn’t an easy mark for pill theft and that these drugs are dangerous.
Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic. This isn’t a problem isolated to families with teens who experiment with Rx drugs. It’s going to take the effort of entire communities to stop addiction. Parents and neighbors like you can make a difference. By locking up your medications, you can help keep your family and those who visit your home safe.