Prescription medicines are often perceived as harmless. They’re prescribed by a doctor, can be tremendously beneficial when taken properly, and are widely available. We leave them out in the open so that we remember to take them- on the counter, in the kitchen cabinet, on the nightstand.
Medications can be such a common household item that you may never even think that they could ruin a life of someone you love.
Why should you be worried about prescription drug abuse?
Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic. 52 million people in the US over the age of 12 have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime. After marijuana and alcohol, prescription and over the counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older. The biggest culprits are opioid pain relievers and central nervous system depressants for relieving anxiety. This include drugs that may be in your medicine cabinet, such as Fentanyl, OxyContin, Valium, and Xanax.
Medicine boxes can give users better control over who accesses their medications. Locking up your medications encourages the mindset that prescription drugs can be dangerous.
How can a Medicine Box Prevent Drug Abuse?
Locking up your medicine can help stop a problem before it begins. Many addicts start by experimenting with someone else’s medication, or by taking too much of their own prescription. Even properly prescribed pills can become addictive. A medicine lock box helps you to stay in control of what medicine your teens are taking, and who can access the medicines you use. Be cautious about where you leave your medication, and who you allow access to it.
Medicine lock boxes can be used to store non-prescription medication as well. Drinking cough syrup or consuming other over-the-counter medications is another common form of substance abuse. Vitamins and other supplements can also pose a risk. Iron is a common ingredient in multivitamins, but overdosing with iron can be dangerous, especially for small children. A lockbox can help you safeguard all of the medications in your home, including your vitamins, supplements and OTC medicine.
As with any disease, taking steps to prevent addiction is a huge part of ensuring the health of families and communities at risk.
What Else Can You Do to Prevent Addiction?
Just by making yourself aware of the dangers of prescription drug addiction and the importance of prevention, you’ve taken an important first step. Being proactive can help you safeguard your family’s wellbeing.
Make sure your family has the information they need to stay safe.
Too many people believe that because prescription drugs were recommended to them by a doctor, they’re harmless. Making sure that you and your family are aware of the dangers of prescription drugs and the importance of following your doctor’s prescription exactly, without sharing medication, is a vital part of preventing addiction.
Educating your children can have a huge impact. One study showed that 50% of teens are less likely to abuse prescription drugs when they learned about the risks from their parents.
Know the warning signs.
Different risk factors impact different groups of people. It’s important to know which risk factors impact you and your family. For example, adults may be particularly at risk when going through transitional periods such as unemployment, whereas peer-pressure has an enormous impact on teens. Intervening early when someone is at risk of addiction can make a huge difference, especially when children and teens are concerned.
Know when a medicine box isn’t enough.
If someone you love already struggles with addiction, a lockbox probably won’t be enough to help them. Addiction changes your brain and behavior, making it almost impossible to resist the temptation of an addictive substance. Addicts will go to great lengths to get a fix. Pill bottles and locks can be broken open, pills can be purchased online or stolen from friends. If your lockbox is missing or damaged you will know that your loved one is using again, but they may need professional treatment to combat their addiction.
While you can’t cure the abuse of prescription medication by locking your meds up, a medicine lock box can give you a powerful resource to help your family prevent addiction. When used to as a preventative measure against addiction, medicine lock boxes can save lives.