Here are three things that you can do to help prevent drug abuse and addiction:

1. Proactively educate your family on the dangers of drugs and addictive substances.

Prevention starts early and is proactive. Parents who spend time with their children and take time to strengthen connections are more likely to notice changes in behavior. Family plays an important role in addressing and changing substance abuse issues. Adolescents and teens are a particularly vulnerable group because the earlier an individual starts smoking, drinking or using other drugs, the greater the likelihood of developing an addiction. Studies show that 9 in 10 people with substance probably start using by age 18.

2. Ensure proper usage of prescription opioids under the guidance of a physician.

  • Verify proper usage by following prescription directions as explained by the doctor, the pharmacist and as shown on the prescription label;
  • Keep notes on interactions of the prescription with other medications and alcohol so that you are able to make choices that keep you in optimal health;
  • Do not increase frequency or amount of prescribed medication. Consult with our doctor to discuss any changes with your prescription;
  • Store prescriptions safely and out of reach from other family members, children or visitors;
  • Do not use other people's prescriptions or give your prescriptions to others.

3. Safely dispose of unused or expired prescriptions in the home including common opioid prescriptions.

Examples of prescription opioid medications include:

  • Codeine - an ingredient in some cough syrups and in one Tylenol product;
  • Hydrocodone - Vicodin, Lortab or Lorcet;
  • Oxycodone - Percocet, Oxycontin or Percodan;
  • Hydromorphine - Dilaudid;
  • Morphine - MSContin, MSIR, Avinza or Kadian;
  • Propxyphene - Darvocet or Darvon;
  • Fentanyl - Durasegic.