Medicine Cabinets: Your Teens Drug Dealer – Be AWARE

It isn’t street drugs you have to worry about – your kids, teens and tweens can find drugs in your home or a friends home – even more prevalent if a grandparents home.

You know how easy it is to forget about a prescription that you never finished and stored in your medicine cabinet. Proper drug disposal protects your loved ones from misuse. Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs among 12-13 year olds. Many of these pills can be found in your medicine cabinet and around your house. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation and their AWARxEConsumer Protection Program are helping to stop this growing!

 April 28 is theDEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  If you have any unused prescription drugs in your home, you can drop them off at the designated collection site in your community on April 28. The DEA coordinates with the local law enforcement and community partners to provide thousands of sites across the country, many of them at police departments, so that the unwanted drugs are disposed of safely and legally. Sites will accept pills, both prescription and nonprescription, for disposal.

I had the opportunity to interview the Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Dr. Catizone on the dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse.  Dr. Catizone is the Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and a licensed pharmacist. He currently serves as a Governor of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Board of Directors and Chair of the PTCB Certification Council. Dr. Catizone is regularly called to serve as an expert witness for the US Government in the areas of pharmacy practice and regulation on both the state and national level issues.

Check out my interview with Dr. Catizone below and visit www.AWARERX.ORG for more information on prevention and the April 28 DEA Take-Back Day. Also, don’t forget to like AWARxE on Facebook!

A)      What are the dangers associated with taking prescription drugs that are not prescribed to you.

Dr. Catizone:   Taking a medication not prescribed for you can lead to serious health consequences, permanent injuries, or death. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2009, 1.2 million emergency department visits were related to the misuse or abuse of prescription drugs. Controlled substance medications have the potential for abuse, and taking these medications if they are not prescribed to you could lead to addiction. Every year, 15,000 people die from an overdose of prescription painkillers, according to the CDC.

B)       What is the best way to prevent teenagers from abusing prescription drugs?

Dr. Catizone:   An important step is to talk with teens about the serious dangers of prescription drug abuse. A video recommended by AWARxE, called The Road to Nowhere, tells the story of a teen who experimented with prescription drugs at a party and became addicted to the drugs. A link to the video is available on the AWARxE Get Local Oklahoma page. Teens can visit for many other resources.

C)      Are there any other ways to dispose of unused prescription drugs besides DEA prescription drug take-back days?

Dr. Catizone:  Many cities and counties across the country provide permanent medication disposal programs. Many programs provide a drop-box at a police department—these programs can take controlled substance medications for disposal. Other programs are run by hazardous waste disposal agencies or other entities that cannot accept controlled substance medications, but can take all other unused drugs for safe disposal.

Many of the AWARxE Get Local pages have links to local disposal programs, and we are actively expanding these resources. We are happy to take information about local programs and post it on our Web site. Anyone who has information on a disposal program can e-mail the information they have to – we will review for inclusion on the respective state’s Get Local page.

If there are no drug disposal sites near you, there are options for disposing of drugs at home. The information that comes with your prescription may provide instructions on home disposal. Only some medications should be flushed down the toilet and the US Food and Drug Administration has a list of these drugs on its Web site. If there are no instructions for disposal you can throw the drugs in your home garbage. But first, take them out of the container and mix them with an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or cat litter.

More details about drug disposal programs are available on the AWARxE Medication Disposal page.

D)      How can you tell if someone is abusing prescription drugs and how can you help them stop?

Dr. Catizone: Side effects associated with prescription drug abuse include dizziness, loss of appetite, unconsciousness, impaired memory, mood swings, loss of motor coordination, trouble breathing and rapid or irregular heartbeat.

Seeking advice and assistance from your family health care provider, such as your doctor is recommended. Your doctor can provide information and/or referrals to local programs that help identify abuse and treat addiction.

If teens are in need of help, a school’s guidance counselor can also be an excellent resource for local information.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides an online substance abuse treatment locator and links to resources about addiction and treatment on its Web site.

E )      What can parents do to make sure the prescription drugs they do have in their homes will not be abused by their teenagers?

Dr. Catizone:  Parents should securely store all medications in the household. For example, you may want to lock your medications in a secure cabinet or a medicine safe. In particular, you should securely store controlled substance prescription drugs, such as certain pain medications and ADHD medications.

You may also wish to keep track of the number of pills left in the bottle.

Remember that sometimes prescription drugs are taken out of medicine cabinets by visitors to the home, such as a teen’s guests.

If you have pills or medication that is no longer needed or has expired, dispose of it at an authorized DEA Take-Back location, or a local medication disposal program. The next DEA Take-Back Day is April 28, 2012 and collection sites will be located across the country.

More information about these events, as well as an alternate method for safely disposing of unneeded drugs in the home garbage, is available on the AWARxE Medication Disposal page.

Links for cited Web pages:

·         The Road to Nowhere video:

·         Medication Disposal:

·         Get Local:

·         FDA Drug Disposal Information:

·         SAMHSA online substance abuse treatment locator:

·         SAMHSA links to resources about addiction and treatment:


Is your teenager the problem?

Hmmm, well, this is a bold and common statement I hear quite frequently so when a new friend/colleague mentioned she has a book coming out this spring with this title, I was intrigued.  After all, as a parent that struggled with a teen that was less than perfect, and liked to convince me that “I” was the problem, this book just may go flying off the shelves.

My Teenager Is The Problem” is written by Ronae Jull, the Hope Coach.

A bit about this new book…..

Do you struggle with that one family member who constantly challenges your serenity, twists your stomach into knots and keeps you up at night, questioning your sanity? If that family member is your teenager, you’re not alone.

Teenagers can cause feelings of anger, incompetence, and helplessness in even the most confident parents. Regardless of how successful your professional life, your home keeping skills, or your other relationships,parenting a teen can challenge your resolve to remain calm and mindful when dealing with him or her.

Maybe you’ve come to feel that you shouldn’t have become a parent, you can’t do anything right, and that your teen may not make it to his or her adult years in one piece.

You don’t have to feel this way.

Order My Teenager IS the Problem! today and recapture peace and sanity for you and your family. The book — authored by The HOPE Coach, Ronae Jull — provides specific step-by-step strategies, guaranteed to save your teen and renew your peace-of-mind.

Read just a few of the proven solutions offered in this amazing book below:

Creating and enforcing boundaries

  • Dealing with bad attitudes
  • Substance abuse
  • Dealing with and stopping rage
  • Helping your depressed teen
  • Coping with bullying behavior
  • Helping your mentally ill teen
  • …and much more…

For more information on Ronae Jull and her services, visit her website at  You can follow Ronae Jull on Twitter and join her on Facebook!

As a Parent Advocate and Author of a parenting book on residential therapy, Parent Coaching can be an avenue a family can use prior taking the step into residential therapy.

Recovery Month March 2012: Join the Voices

Road to Recovery March 2012 is here!

We know that almost 1 in 10 Americans struggle with a substance abuse disorder and 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness.  Treatment and recovery are a pathway forward.

The National Recovery Month (Recovery Month) campaign offers help and hope not only for individuals receiving recovery services and in recovery but also for families, loved ones, and friends. The benefits of treatment and recovery-oriented services and supports in behavioral health ripple out across entire communities throughout our Nation, proving there are effective treatments and that people do recover.

As the Road to Recovery series kicks off its 12th season, this episode will highlight the many accomplishments of the 2011 Recovery Month campaign and look forward to a successful September 2012 Recovery Month.


Please visit for more information.  Watch video.
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Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll: ‘SKINS’ Where Teens Are Teens?

Viewer discretion advised…

Is that enough to convince your teen to watch with caution?  It seems most of today’s society simply ignore any warnings of viewer discretion announcement.

Reality shows are definitely the trend and there is no denying, they are becoming more and more popular with all ages, but what happens when it involves minors?  Toddlers and Tiarras has had much controversary, not to mention Jersey Shore.  From toddlers to young adults, when is enough – ENOUGH?

The controversy surrounding MTV’s no-holds-barred teen drama “Skins” is shaking up parents as as as the Parents Television Council (PTC). Just days after the U.S. version of the British teen series first aired,  PTC has urged the federal government to investigate the show for possible violations of child pornography laws.

According to the president of PTC, Tim Winter, “You have a major conglomerate, Viacom and MTV, that is directly marketing to children graphic sex, profanity, drug use.”

Seen on the Today Show (must watch video), legal analyst and victims’ rights advocate Wendy Murphy not only sees the PTC’s point, she anticipates Viacom’s defense.

Their defense is likely to be ‘oh, come on, this is just a television show,’ but that’s not really a defense, because that’s not the issue,” Murphy explained. “The only issue is, are there kids involved who are under the age of 18? That’s it! That’s enough!  That’s child pornography.”

For those that have not heard of this new show, Skins is not a reality show, it is actually scripted and the actors are between the ages of 15-18 years-old.  They are participating in disturbing acts such as sex, drugs and more.  Is this legal?

Let’s hear your opinion.  Leave your comments below.

Alexis P. of Ft. Lauderdale commented, “When my 14 year-old son sees a view discretion warning, he continues watching as if it wasn’t there.  It is ridiculous to believe that parents are able to control everything their kids are watching and it is a shame people see this trash as entertainment.”

MTV issued a statement on Today Show as follows:

Skins’ is a show that addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way,” the statement read. “We are confident that the episodes of ‘Skins’ will not only comply with all applicable legal requirements, but also with our responsibilities to our viewers.”

Let’s go back to the beginning, who is really reading Viewer Discretion Advised? Most likely, not the kids watching it – those words usually peak the curiosity of most teens and tweens.

Be an educated parent, know what your kids are watching.

Read more.

Teen Drug Use: Dangers of Pot and Teens


When it comes to parenting your teenagers it is never too late or too often to talk about the dangers of drug use.

Many parents will ignore the warning signs or make excuses for them, but when reality hits home that your teen is using drugs, it is critical you get involved.  Communication is always key to prevention, however there are times when your teen is no longer listening.  It doesn’t mean you stop talking.

Intervention starts at home. If you suspect drug use, talk to your teen.  If they admit to using drugs, and are determined not to quit or even tell you they can quit if they want, take it to the next level.  Seek out local adolescent therapy or counseling.  In some cases this will be a brickwall but in other situations it can be the beginning of understanding why your teen is turning to substance abuse.

If your teen escalates to a level that is uncontrollable, or simply defiant to all your rules and boundaries – and most importantly, putting your family or themselves at risk – it may be time to think about residential therapy.  Remember, safety matters, and we are talking about the safety and health of your family.

What happens if you suspect that your teen is already using alcohol and drugs? What do you say to them? The conversation is the same: parents need to tell their kids that drug and alcohol use by teens is not allowed in your family. The issue won’t go away until you do something. You will simply have to acknowledge that your teen has a problem — your teen is using drugs and that won’t get any better until you take action on your teen’s behalf. It is OK to ask for help. In fact, getting help may make it easier for you to have the conversation.

Practice the conversation ahead of time. You may have to have a couple of “practice runs.” These conversations are not easy but they are worthwhile. Talking it over with your spouse/partner beforehand will help you keep a level head and speak to the issue. (Review some key talking points and practice these sample conversations beforehand.) – Source: Parents: The Anti-Drug

Are you considering residential therapy, contact Parents’ Universal Resource Experts for more infomation on this major decision.  It is about the safety of your family and your teenager.  Order Wit’s End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen.

Sue Scheff: Don’t be a parent in denial – Learn about drug treatment

After speaking with Dr. Drew last week in an insightful call on teens and cough syrup abuse, the conversation turned to the many parents that are in denial or constantly looking to blame others for their child’s behavior.

How many times have you blamed your child’s friend or a neighbor for negative behavior of your child?  It is not your child, it is the friends he/she is hanging with.  Your child would never do drugs, they are too smart for that.  Are they?  Yes, many are highly intelligent but that doesn’t mean they are immune to drug use.

The faster you remove yourself from the “it’s not my child” excuse, the sooner you can work on getting your child the help he/she may need.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, one in five teens reports having abused a prescription drug to get high. 

Teens who learn a lot about the dangers of drugs from their parents are half as likely to abuse drugs. – StopMedicineAbuse

Some red flags parents should be aware of, and not ignore are:

  • Change in friends/peer group
  • Withdrawn, secretive
  • Change in appearance, grooming
  • Decline in grades, skipping school
  • Dazed eyes, glassy eyes, bloodshot
  • Odor or smell to their hair or clothes of alcohol, pot, or nicotine (using body sprays and perfumes more frequently)
  • Lying about their whereabouts, defiance
  • Loss of interest in their usual interests such as sports, dance etc.

Parents need to understand that ignoring these signs or blaming it on others is not going to help your child.  You need to seek treatment so it doesn’t escalate to much worse.  A parent in denial is not helping the child, it is actually harming them.  There isn’t any shame in having a child that is struggling, there is only shame if you don’t reach out and get help.


Time to Talk, Five Moms, Stop Medicine Abuse, Inhalant Abuse, Drug Free America, The Anti-Drug

Read more on Examiner and watch video.

Sue Scheff: Jobs and Drug Use

Source: Connect with Kids

“They end up experimenting in such a way that the use of that [extra] income is not really going toward beneficial things for them.”

– Dr. Richard Winer, Psychiatrist

For just seventeen, Adam Shapiro’s work experience is impressive. “I have worked at my synagogue… like three hours a week probably on a Sunday. I was assistant teacher. I’ve ref’d soccer before,” he says.

But with major exams this week, the jobs will have to wait.

“Are you studying the rest of the week?” his mom, Karen, asks him,
“Yeah,” says Adam.

“The number one priority for us is his studies. So, if he wanted to work and make extra money that was great, as long as it did not interfere with his studies,” explains his mom, Karen.

Previous studies have found that kids who work just ten hours a week admit to cheating more often in school and taking less challenging courses.

And a new survey by the Rand Corporation finds that kids who work are also more likely to use drugs and alcohol and smoke cigarettes.

The difference between them and their unemployed peers: lack of supervision for one and extra cash.

“They end up experimenting in such a way that the use of that the use of that income is not really going toward beneficial things for them,” explains Dr. Richard Winer, a psychiatrist.

He says parents need to keep a close eye on where the money is going, and how the job is affecting their child. “Their sleep patterns, their eating patterns, their social skills among peers as well as family member… if there’s a distinct change that’s taken place then it’s probably worth looking into to that, because that might be kind of a warning sign.”

Finally, he says kids will do better off if they take a job for the experience, not just the money.
“If you enjoy your work, it won’t feel that taxing to you,” he says, “and [it] probably will have less likelihood of being an impediment to your academic work as a teen or as a college student.”

Adam, who already has been accepted to college early admission, says that’s exactly what happened to him.  “I ref soccer, and I enjoy, I love sports… so, I try to find a happy medium in between working, getting paid… and doing something I love.”

Tips for Parents

The Department of Labor estimates that 80 percent of high school students will hold a job at some point before graduation. Most teens are working for spending money. Few are contributing to family expenses. The National Academies assessed how work affects the health, education, development and behavior of young people. Their research found advantages and disadvantages for students that work.

Among the advantages of a job are that it can …

  • Help develop responsibility and time management skills.
  • Provide experience in dealing with people.
  • Provide opportunity to acquire specific job skills that might transfer to subsequent work situations.

Research has also shown the following negative consequences of work, particularly when a teen works more than 20 hours a week:

  • Work can interfere with schoolwork and academic achievement
  • Work can take precedence over extracurricular activities and social experiences that are an important part of adolescent development
  • Work can interfere with sleep
  • Students who work long hours – more than 20 hours – are more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in other deviant behavior.
  • Many students who work long hours get insufficient sleep and exercise and may spend less time with their families.
  • Students who consistently work more than 20 hours per week also complete less schooling.

Though working can help to acquire specific job skills, the reality is that many teens are employed in jobs that utilize low-level skills and do not provide any valuable learning experience. The National Academies and others recommend that Congress give the U.S. Department of Labor the authority to limit the number of hours worked during the school year by all children under 18.

Currently, under federal law, students under 16 cannot work more than three hours on a school day and 18 hours in an entire week. The government has not set guidelines for 16 to 17-year-olds. The National Consumers League recommends that 16 to 17 year olds be restricted to no more than four hours per day and 20 hours a week during the school year.

The North Carolina State University Family and Consumer Sciences offers these tips for parents and kids to make the most of a teen’s job:

  • Agree to make schoolwork the number one priority
  • Set clear expectations about the conditions of acceptable employment (type of work, how much work, maintaining good grades, etc.)
  • Have the teen work out expectations and conditions with employer (e.g. must have time off during finals week, must finish by a certain hour on school nights, etc.)
  • Consider working only during school vacations and/or vacations.
  • If money is not the issue, consider an unpaid or volunteer work that will serve the teen’s personal growth and long-term career interests.

Before your teen sets his or her heart on a job, make sure he or she is aware of the potential hazards of the job. According to the National Consumer League, the five worst and dangerous jobs for teens to hold include the following:

  • Driving and delivery, including operating or repairing motorized equipment
  • Working alone in cash-based businesses and late-night work
  • Cooking with exposure to hot oil and grease, hot water and steam, and hot cooking surfaces
  • Construction and work at heights
  • Traveling youth crews

As a parent, you need to teach your child the skills to keep a job by excelling in his/her chosen field. The YouthRules! Initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) offers parents the following tips for teaching their child the importance of appearance and courtesy on the job:

  • Know the dress code. If business attire is expected, wear it.
  • Make sure your clothes are clean, pressed and fit you properly. Shoes should be polished.
  • If you’re supposed to wear an identification card, wear it.
  • The basic rule is clean and neat: Bathe and brush your teeth before your work day. Hands and fingernails should be clean. Hair must be clean and neat, in acceptable styles and colors.
  • When you answer the phone at work or meet customers, always say, “Good morning (or afternoon or evening). Thank you for calling [name of your employer]. May I help you?”
  • Be friendly and sociable. Remember to say “thank you” and “please.”
  • Even if someone is rude to you, remain polite and keep your good attitude.


  • National Center for Education Statistics
  • National Consumers League
  • North Carolina State University Family and Consumer Sciences
  • The National Academies
  • Rand Corporation
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • YouthRules!