Protecting adolescents from addiction

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The Department of Health and Human Services says the vast majority of misuse among teens involves prescription drugs, not heroin.

We asked an expert the best way for parents to steer their kids away from abusing those powerful painkillers. They can abuse their own prescriptions, or those of friends or family.

Sally Kammerer with the Cumberland-Perry Drug and Alcohol Commission says, first inform yourself, then tell your child as early as is appropriate what can happen when drugs are abused. She says, also show them you care about this danger.

“You will be calling their friends’ parents to see if the party is actually going to occur. It really is about a balance of trusting your child, but also being vigilant about what they are doing,” said Kammerer.

Kammerer says this kind of communication is not a guarantee, but prevention research shows even when kids seem as though they’re not absorbing what you’re saying, they are. So it’s important that you bring it up.

If you or a loved one needs help recovering from addiction, this phone number is a good one to call: 1-800-622-HELP (4357). It’s a national helpline staffed by trained professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

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