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As a parent, there are things you can do, starting when your child is young, to help prevent opioid prescription misuse.

Parents: prevent opioid prescription misuse
• Talk to your teen and warn them about the potential dangers of taking medications that are not prescribed for them, including addiction and overdose.
• Be clear with your expectations about drug and alcohol use and follow through by supporting healthy decisions that they make.

These conversations are particularly important in your child’s pre-teen years (starting at age 10) Choose the grade level of your child below to learn more:
tips for prevention, middleaged children tips for prevention, highschool

Keep Prescriptions Safe
• If your son or daughter need medications while at school, request an 8-12 hour dose so you can administer them at home. If medications must be taken during school hours, give them to the school nurse.
• Ask your doctor if any medications prescribed for your family have a potential for misuse.
• Take a regular inventory of medications that are kept in your home that can be misused.
• Keep medications in a secure location away from your children. Consider purchasing a locked box at your local pharmacy to store medications that can be misused.

Dispose of Unused Prescription Drugs
• Bring unused medications to secure medication drop-off boxes around the state. To find a drop box in your area, visit
• Do not flush medication down the drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.
• If you throw medication in the garbage, remove the medicine from its container, crush the pills and mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter. Place the mixture in an unmarked container, like an empty can or sealable bag, and throw the container in the trash.

Educate Yourself and Others
The Department of Public Health offers free educational materials on substance misuse prevention.

click here for warning signs page
click here for risks page
click here for prevention page
click here for commonly misused page
click here for get help guide page
click here for naloxone description

Sources: National Institute on Drug Abuse, BSAS
Posted June 2015
Disclaimer: The contents of this website are not intended to offer specific medical advice and should not be used for diagnosing or treating particular conditions. For questions about your own health, ask your doctor.