Start the Conversation with Your Teen: Prescription Drug Misuse & Abuse

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that long-used methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards to people and the environment.

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is an important public health issue and Marin County law enforcement agencies are participating in National Drug Take Back Day is this coming Saturday, April 26th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office and Marinwood Fire Department will accept pills for disposal at the Marinwood fire station, 777 Miller Creek Road in San Rafael. Police stations in San Rafael, Mill Valley, Novato, Tiburon, Belvedere and the Kentfield campus of College of Marin are designated drop-off stations as well. For locations where you can drop off unwanted medications throughout the year, go to the County’s Medical Waste Program webpage. Check the DEA searchable database for more Take-Back Day locations. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.

Prescription drug misuse and abuse is also happening with teenagers. If proper medication disposal does not happen, youth could access those pills easily from home. 

Teenagers turn to prescription drugs because they perceive them as less dangerous than illegal drugs. Because of this, teenage prescription drug abuse is on the rise. But the good news is, as a parent and guardian, you can influence your teen's decision not to use drugs. The majority of teens still report that their parents and guardians—not their peers or the media—have the biggest influence on their decision to stay drug-free. Use this influence to talk to your teen about the danger of misusing prescription drugs. Start the conversation today with your teen!

Sources and Useful Information:
Partnership for a Drug Free America
The Medicine Abuse Project
U.S. Department of Justice - DEA 
San Rafael Patch

Let your voice be heard: How would you start the conversation about prescription drug misuse and abuse with your child? Please start the conversation and answer this question in the comment stream below! 

The San Rafael Alcohol Compliance Team (ACT) has been created through a partnership with the San Rafael Police Department and the Marin County Department of Health & Human Services to reduce underage and excessive drinking in youth ages 12 – 25.

For more information please visit & LIKE San Rafael ACT today

Stay tuned for more information on ACT and how you can get involved!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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