Future Pharmacists Warn Parents About Growing Prescription Drug Problems Among Teens

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A group of Upper Arlington parents recently listened intently about ways to keep their kids off drugs and out of jail.

It's called a Generation Rx meeting.

“I'd say when a teen gets involved in prescription drugs, a lot of times is just that it's there. One of the key things we like to say is your medicine cabinet is a drug dealer,” said Jesse Wimberly, Ohio State Board of Pharmacy Agent.

It's no secret that a drug addict's cravings can turn them into thieves, robbers and worse.

Upper Arlington High School and UA Police are working with Ohio State University's college of pharmacy to educate parents on safe-guarding against access to prescription drugs.

Pharmacy students Jonathan Bosold and Daniel Riech focus on parents of 7th and 8th graders.

“Most users are most likely to start abusing a prescription medication at the age of 18. So the rule of five is that you'd like to try to educate that person five years prior to that experience,” said Bosold.

“Inform them now, before they move on to these critical points in their life, where they'd be offered for the first time. If we can talk to them now, maybe we can stop it from happening,” added Riech.

Prevention experts say parents can play a major role in steering their kids from these temptations readily available in their own homes. Jason Moore says the workshop opened his eyes.

“Scariest thing is for adults that have surgeries or whatever and bring these drugs into the house,” said Moore. “They might use a couple that's in a prescription and 75 percent of pills are left over in the house.”

Treatment experts say when teen addicts become desperate enough, they can turn to breaking into homes, businesses, even stealing from their parents to pay for their next fix. Helping parents take the blinders off is one of the goals of Generation Rx.  

“You just have to try to be very connected with your kids. And foster a relationship where they feel like they can come to you at any time and just try to stay close,” added mother Betsy Moore.

Generation Rx also holds weekly drug education workshops for youngsters age 12 to 17 at COSI in downtown Columbus.