How to Protect an Adolescent/Young Adult from Prescription Drug Abuse

WARNING: The videos are for parents and other adult use only.

"Parents should control prescription bottles - just leaving them in the medicine cabinet is probably not a good idea."

-Dr. John Knight, Director, Center for Substance Abuse Research at Children's Hospital Boston.

Staying connected to your adolescent/young adult is one of the most important ways to prevent drug abuse. As your children get older, it's still important to enforce family rules. Know your children's friends and their parents. Listen to your children, talk to them about the dangers of drug abuse, and set clear expectations.

Adolescence is a time of experimentation and a time when the desire to be accepted by peers can be overwhelming. It is also a time when emotional problems like depression or anxiety or learning disabilities including ADHD can
become more evident. Getting youths help with any of these challenges can help prevent them from misusing drugs.

Did you know?

From age 13 to 25, the brain goes through a major period of development. During this period, the parts of the brain are developing at different times. The part that looks for new and exciting experiences develops before the section of the brain that considers the risks of these experiences. This may be why teens do risky things despite possible bad consequences.

Tips to prevent Rx drug abuse:

  • Secure all of your medications
  • Dispose of unused prescription drugs
  • Monitor your teen's prescription for ADHD medication or other controlled
  • Talk to your teen about the dangers of prescription drug abuse
  • Recognize the connection between drug abuse and mental health
  • Keep an eye on your teen's Internet use

Learn more about how to talk to teens before there is a problem pdf format of 7 Ways to Protect Your Teen from Alcohol & other Drugs
file size 2MB docx format of                             7 Ways to Protect Your Teen from Alcohol and other Drug                 

(1) Partnership for a Drug-Free America. (2010). Drug guide by name. Retrieved February 24, 2010 from
(2) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (1999). The relationship between mental health and substance abuse among adolescents. OAS Analytic Series, 9, DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 99-3286, Rockville, MD.
(3) Casey, B.J., Getz, S., & Galvan, A. (2008). The adolescent brain. "Development Review" , 28, 62-77.

This information is provided by the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services within the Department of Public Health.