Life is busy. So we’re providing practical ideas for some very important to-do items: talking with your kids about drug use, getting rid of expired medications, and keeping an eye on dangerous substances in your home.
Know what you are talking about.
Get educated about the facts; know what kinds of substances are being used and understand the long-term effect they have on youth development. Use real life examples and be aware that social media is not necessarily the best resource for information. Use trusted resources such as NIDA, SAMSHA and the CDC.
Be Honest and Direct
Genetically, youth are pre-disposed to addiction if it runs in the family. If substance abuse exists in your family, share that information with them. Be honest about your own use and experience; share what you would do differently. Be clear and direct about your expectations, specifically around substance use. Set an example, and be a role model for your child.
Empower Your Child
Use everyday opportunities to start a simple conversation. Empower them to make decisions regarding their own health and safety. Help your child to set goals that are personal, achievable, specific and positive about not using drugs; keep them accountable to those goals.
Visit your local police station for a Rx drop box. If your police station doesn’t accept Rx bottles, visit any pharmacy for a drop box or Deterra Bag. Senior citizens or anyone unable to get to the police station with medications may call 911 and the police will come pick them up at your home. Click here for a list of locations in the area accepting expired medications.
DEA Drug Take Back Days are held on the last Saturday of April and October at the Irondequoit Police Department (1300 Titus Ave, Rochester, NY 14617). Click here for more details on collection days and locations, or visit the IPD Facebook Page. Please be aware dates are subject to change due to COVID-19, so please call or check the site for updates.
Safe Home Disposal
Purchase your own Deterra Bags or Dispose Rx online, or contact Drug-Free Irondequoit at firstname.lastname@example.org for other safe home disposal methods.
Take an Inventory
Think about the poisonous items and substances you have in your home. Go beyond cleaning products; do you have vaping products, alcohol, marijuana or medications in the house? Know what products you have, where they are in your home, and how much you have of each. Take an inventory of the number of pills in bottles, number of cigarettes in a pack, and amount (and taste) of alcohol left in each bottle.
Secure any unsafe or dangerous substance away from children and pets. If you have a child under 3-years, make sure all cabinets that contain harmful substance are properly secured. Child-proof locks are preferred to keep children and pets safe. Lock medications and alcohol away, especially with teens in the house. Store vape products, edibles and CBD products away from children as they are very toxic if ingested.
Lock boxes can be obtained at a variety of online and local retailers.
Youth who consume alcohol are more likely to experience academic and social problems. They are more likely to have lower academic achievements and potentially failing grades, while more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior. Repeated consumption of alcohol will disrupt a youth’s natural growth and development, having lifelong and harmful consequences on an individual’s brain, liver, and heart.
Usage of tobacco products in any form is detrimental to one’s health. Cigarette smoking is related to numerous deadly illnesses including lung and mouth cancer, emphysema, heart disease, COPD, and chronic bronchitis.
E-cigarette usage among high school and middle school students is on the rise. 99% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and some labels don’t even disclose the specific amount. Nicotine of any amount is harmful to a youth’s long-term development by changing the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood and impulses, ultimately leading to a higher likelihood of addition to other drugs.
Prescription medication addiction is the fastest growing drug problem in the US; profoundly affecting the lives of youth. Despite a common misconception that prescription drugs are less harmful to one’s body, there is a range of health consequences that are particularly harmful to a youth’s developing brain and body. Specifically, panic and anxiety disorders, poor hand-eye coordination, and multiple respiratory issues.
Marijuana is still illegal for teens in all 50 states. Whether it’s smoked, vaped, or consumed there are lasting consequences to a youth’s academic and cognitive development. Marijuana dulls attention, memory, and learning skills; making students who use it more likely to drop out of high school or college. Long-term, repeated use can lead to addiction and usage of other drugs.
Centers for Disease Control: Teen Substance Use and Risks
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Keeping Youth Drug Free
National Institute on Drug Abuse: Overview
American Lung Association: Protecting My Child from Nicotine Addiction
Office of Addition Services and Supports: Making the Talk Count At Every Age
Office of Addiction Services and Supports: Youth Prevention
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This campaign was made possible by NYS OASAS through federal funding under the SAMHSA State Opioid Response Grant #H79T1081718-01.