Many young people think prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs because they are prescribed by a physician, dispensed by a pharmacist, and manufactured by pharmaceutical companies. According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future study, prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs, after marijuana. Kids who learn about the dangers of drug use early and often are less likely to develop addiction than those who do not receive these critical messages at home.

Let your child know you appreciate their questions and you’re glad he/she feels they can talk to you. Here are some talking points to consider discussing with your child:

  • Prescription drugs are only legal for the person for whom it’s prescribed.
  • Prescription drugs can be extremely dangerous when they are used by someone else or even used in a way they were not prescribed. They can even be life-threatening if they are used in certain amounts or combined with alcohol or another drug.
  • Abuse of prescription drugs can be just as addictive and dangerous (even fatal) as the abuse of illegal street drugs. In fact, some of those “hardcore” illegal street drugs are made of the same ingredients as prescription drugs. For instance, heroin and oxycodone are both opioids derived from a common root: poppy.

Remember, it is adults’ responsibility to dispose of prescription drugs safely. See Linn County Medication Drop Boxes for safe, local drop-off sites.

Download the Parent Talk Kit for more ideas on talking to your kids about prescription drug misuse.

Adapted from The Partnership for and SAMHSA

Linn Together 2017 Community Training

Dr. Jim Shames

The Impact of Opioid Misuse on Our Community:

How we got here, and how we can make it better

Register here

May 19, 2017
9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Boulder Falls Conference Center, Lebanon, OR

In this presentation, you will learn the scope of the opioid epidemic, including Oregon and youth trends. You will learn the causes of opioid misuse and the effects on our communities, as well as prevention and treatment strategies.

This training is provided at no cost to you by Linn Together, Linn County Alcohol and Drug, and a Samaritan Health Services Social Accountability grant. Registration is required and space is limited.

Register here by May 12 or by contacting Julie Charles at Linn County Alcohol and Drug, or 541-967-3819.


Dr. Jim Shames Biography

Handout: 10 Steps to a Safe Prom

  1. Tell your child that you want them to have a wonderful, memorable, and safe prom.
  2. Have very specific conversations with your teen about alcohol consumption, driving under the influence, drug use, and sex. Peer pressure often leads teens to use poor judgment before, during and after prom.
  3. If your teen is driving, keep a list of names and phone numbers of each teen rider and their parents. Limit the number of teen passengers to minimize distractions for the driver.
  4. Tell your child that they must be driven by someone who has not used alcohol or other drugs.
  5. Get a complete itinerary for the evening, including whom they will be with, where they’ll be going after the prom and the phone numbers where you can contact them.
  6. Find out who will be supervising the prom and after-parties. Be sure to speak directly with any parents supervising after-parties your teen wishes to attend.
  7. Consider arranging specific check-in times, and make sure you can contact your teen throughout the entire night.
  8. Talk to your teen about how they would handle difficult situations such as being offered a ride by an intoxicated driver, being offered alcohol or drugs, or being pressured to have sex. Be sure to provide parental instruction on how to deal with problems that may arise.
  9. Consider volunteering to assist in supervising the prom or after-parties your teen will attend, which will help ensure there are enough responsible adults watching over the partygoers.
  10. Have someone in the home wait up until your teen arrives back home safely.