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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Parents Giving Children Their Prescription Drugs


A number of parents are walking on thin ice when it comes to prescription drugs with their children. It is clear that too many parents do not take prescription drugs serious regarding how dangerous they really are, as is evident from a new survey conducted in Massachusetts. The survey found that an estimated 56 percent of parents in the Massachusetts survey say their children have access to parents’ prescription drugs at home. What’s more frightening is that one in seven parents report that they have given their children a prescription pain killer that their child was not prescribed, according to the Boston Globe.

300 parents took part in the survey, all of which had children between 12-25 years old who were living at home. “The survey findings are alarming and indicate that parents are often providing prescription drugs to their kids in an improper and dangerous manner,” Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, said in a news release. “Add to that their acknowledgment that their children have ready access to potentially dangerous pain relievers, and we have a high-risk situation in homes across the Commonwealth. Parents need to be aware of what can happen under their own roof and play a more active role in safeguarding medications in their homes.”

There are more Massachusetts residents who die from fatal overdoses than from car accidents each year, according to Pasierb. 12 people, on average, die each week in Mass. from overdoses related opioid painkillers.
  • 27 percent of parents said they have taken pain medications they weren’t prescribed
  • 30 percent still have unused pain medication at home
  • 19 percent have had discussions with grandparents about safeguarding their medicines

Prescription drugs can be lethal especially for children who are given medications prescribed for adults. The younger a child is given prescription opioids, the more likely they are to become addicted. Parents need to take these types of drugs just as serious as heroin or cocaine.

The survey was released by The Partnership at Drugfree.org during a briefing at the Massachusetts State House.

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