Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Parent to Parent: Danger in the Medicine Cabinet
Every parent knows to keep medicine bottles away from toddlers, but you may want to make sure your teen is not raiding your medicine cabinet too. A new warning in today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- At 18, Ali is already a recovering addict.
Ali: "When I was around 14, I was in middle school, going into high school, and you know kids will just offer you any type of pills."
Prescription pills, like Oxycotin and Xanax, taken straight out of their parents medicine cabinet and sold in schools for over $40 a pill.
Ana Moreno: "An adult takes 10 years to develop an addiction. An adolescent will develop it in a year or two."
Ana Moreno is a addiction specialist. She sees, firsthand, the devastating effects prescription drug abuse has on young brains.
Ana Moreno: "Taken in high dosages, will cause hallucinations and, in these hallucinations, the kids are acting out what they are seeing, and a lot of them are ending up in ER and psychiatric units."
Ali's abuse got so out of control, in less than a year, she went from pills to a daily cocaine habit.
Ali: "I couldn't be in the same room with my family without going to the bathroom first and snorting four lines before talking to people, and when I couldn't get my cocaine or my drugs, or something to fill that, I would get so depressed, and I would contemplate suicide."
Seven's Parenting Expert Dr. Valerie Goode says when it comes to prescription drugs, if parents wait for the signs of abuse to act, it probably is already too late.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "By the time that you are seeing that there are red eyes, by the time they are having dry mouth it's too late, because, by that time, they have become clumsy in keeping it from you."
Dr. Val says to start early, explain to children that medicine has a specific purpose and should only be used when it's absolutely necessary.
Second, be aware of all the medicine you have at home, do an inventory regularly to make sure nothing has been taken
Dr. Valerie Goode: "If you are not aware, you are not likely to confront it."
Ali feels her parents did all they could, but, looking back now, she wishes they wouldn't have trusted her as much.
Ali: "You really need to stand your ground and not always be the nice guy because that will get you far worse than being the mean guy."
Lynn Martinez: "Early awareness is the key to fighting against this growing trend. Dr. Valerie says know which drugs kids are most likely to abuse, and, if you have them, put them where your kids can't get them."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode