Protect Yourself and Your Friends from Prescription Drug Abuse

Young teens having fun at home, playing video games

Prescription Drugs should only be taken when prescribed for legitimate health issues, and never taken recreationally. Following are ways you can keep yourself and your friends safe:

  • Don’t assume that prescription drugs aren’t as dangerous as illegal drugs – they are!
  • Understand that one prescription pill or the wrong mixture of medications (even over-the counter) can be deadly, especially when combined with alcohol.
  • Don’t be tempted to take a friend’s Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) medicine to study or stay awake. An overdose of these medications can cause anxiety, panic, tremors, irregular heartbeat, dangerously high body temperatures, and even a heart attack.
  • Form friendships with people who aren’t using prescription drugs so you aren’t pressured or tempted to take them yourself.
  • Avoid parties or other social situations where drugs will be included. Don’t let yourself get caught up in Pharm and Skittles parties – they are EXTREMELY dangerous!
  • Know the signs of prescription drug overdose If you find yourself in a situation where a friend has taken prescription drugs, with or without alcohol, watch over them closely until you know for sure they are OK. Get emergency help immediately if there’s ANY sign they’re in trouble. REMEMBER: Real Friends Don’t Let Friends Die!
  • If you’re concerned that a friend may be becoming addicted, encourage them to talk to a parent or other trusted adult. If that fails, don’t be afraid to seek an adult’s help yourself. It’s better for you to have them be mad at you than to have them die or become addicted because you didn’t come to their rescue.
  • Check out the NIDA for Teens website, where there’s a wealth of information about the dangers of prescription drugs.

Call this ANONYMOUS Lifeline if you’re concerned about a friend or family member. They can help with many problems, including those related to drug use:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK)