Misusing drugs will have serious health consequences for you and your family. When drugs are abused, they can have harmful effects, like sleep disturbances, depression, impaired memory, addiction as well as increased sensitivity and lowered inhibition. Studies have shown that misusing drugs repeatedly can also affect one’s behavior and their decisions.
Most drugs are very addictive. Frequent use of drugs will change the brain, which can result in a strong urge to take the medication again and again. If your teen or young adult stops taking the drug, they may experience severe withdrawal symptoms.
Parents must start an open conversation about drug abuse. Your entire family should know about the harmful effects that can result from misuse, including effects on the developing brain.
A very important tip for your family to avoid misuse of prescription drugs is: When you finish taking medication as prescribed, safely dispose of the unused product. Teens who misuse prescription medicines have reported that they often get those medicines from family and friends. So, it’s important to get rid of expired, unwanted, or unused medicines before they become a problem.
Proper medication disposal prevents accidental and intentional misuse. The Berks County Medication Drop Box disposal program provides drop boxes at several locations in the county where you can safely dispose of prescription medications. Contact www.cocaberks.org or Google Berks County Medication Drop Box Program for more information.
Submitted by Annmarie Dallao
Sources: NIH and COCA