Free Time and Less Supervision During the Summer Can Be Exciting and Dangerous for Youth

Prescription drugs are so commonly used that some mistakenly believe they are harmless. These medications in your home may be easily accessible to youth, who often have a misperception that misusing medications is a safe way to get high. Many prescription medications, especially pain relievers and stimulants, can be extremely dangerous when used improperly, such as in combination with other drugs and/or alcohol. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), more free time and less adult supervision can make the summertime an exciting time for many young people, but it can also increase the likelihood of exposure to dangers and substance use. More teens start drinking and smoking cigarettes and marijuana in June and July than any other months of the year. Summertime is an important time to remind everyone to take steps to prevent our youth from experimenting with prescription drugs.

You can prevent prescription drug misuse by following these 5 easy steps:

1. Talk with your family, friends and children about the dangers of prescription drug misuse
2. Keep medications secure in your home
3. Safely dispose of old/expired/unused mdications in an Rx Drug Drop box near you (click here for drop box locations)
4. Keep count and keep track of your medications
5. Never share, gift or sell your medications and do not take any medications not prescribed to you.

Learn more about the concerns of prescription drug misuse and find community resources – visit

Below is a recent article from Health & Wellness section of US News about a young man in Vermont whose dependence on pain killers lead him down a path of addiction to cocaine, heroin and more.

Mike Devlin overcame his addiction to painkillers, cocaine, heroin and more. He shares his story (read the story)

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