Did you know that prescription drug abuse is the second largest category of drug abuse among kids?
What kind of dangerous products are tempting kids online today? Find out what you need to know to protect your kids.
There are thousands of rogue Internet pharmacies, and many of these are willing to sell prescription drugs to children. Some websites that we've reviewed have fulﬁlled orders for addictive drugs without a prescription, even when the date of birth indicates that the purchaser is just 13 years old.
As a parent, the two most important things that you can do are:
- Understand the dangers
- Talk to your kids.
Parental involvement is one of the most important factors in preventing teens from using drugs. There's no one right way to talk to your kids.
How to keep prescriptions drugs out of your kids' hands:
- Talk to your kids about street drugs and prescription drugs. Used without a physician's supervision, some prescription drugs can be just as addictive (or deadly) as cocaine, heroin or other "street drugs."
- Set a good example. If you take prescription drugs, make sure your kids understand that it's because you went to see a physician and have a valid prescription – and that's the only acceptable circumstance to use prescription drugs.
- Monitor your kids' Internet usage. Watch for rogue pharmacy sites. Some of them will sell prescription drugs to children with a sham "online consultation" with a "doctor".
- Keep a mental tally of your prescription drugs. If you have 30 pills, and you've taken 12. Why do you only have 11 left?
- When you're done with your prescription drugs, throw them away. About 60% of kids who abuse prescription drugs take them from friends or family, including unused pills in the medicine chest. Done with your pills? Click here to get more details about how and why to throw them out.
The dangers of "legal high" and other unsafe health products
It's not just Rx drugs you have to worry about.
K2, Spice, bath salts. Have you heard of these products? They are just some of the very dangerous "legal high" products on the market today.
What are legal highs?
Legal highs are products that have a psychoactive (mind-altering) effect similar to illegal street drugs - except they are man-made and fall outside of any regulatory authority. Products like these are rampant on the Internet and, despite their dangers, are easy to ﬁnd and order.
Kids and young adults are using these products to get high, sometimes with devastating consequences. There have been deaths, amputations and other serious health impacts associated with legal highs. Because legal highs are such a new area, there is not much public information consolidated in the form of a resource for parents. But this article from About.com offers some helpful information on the topic.
What are other types of dangerous health products?
Meizitang, Fruta Planta, ViaXtreme. These products may claim to be all natural, but they have been found to contain hidden pharmaceutical ingredients. As a savvy consumer, it pays to do some research about products that make health claims that seem too good to be true. One resource we can offer is our database of dangerous health products. You can check whether a product is safe or not in the box on our homepage.