Prescription Medicine Safety – Resources for Parents & Caregivers

Seymour says, “Hey, parents and caregivers!  You have a significant effect on your child’s decision to use drugs.  Unfortunately, one in six parents believes prescription drugs are a safer alternative for getting high (Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey 2012), but prescription drugs are just as dangerous!  Young people who believe their parents take drug abuse seriously are less likely to abuse drugs.  Check out the following resources to get the facts along with tips on how to talk with your children about drugs.”

Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse

It’s important for parents to understand the risks and know how to prevent their kids from intentionally overdosing on cough and cold medicine.


Is It Candy or Medicine?

Could your child tell the difference?

You’d be surprised how many potentially poisonous products look good enough to eat.
Here’s how to protect your family.


Check out the video below, Mistaking Medicine for Candy:

 Read more about this video HERE.

Study shows how children and even adults have difficulty distinguishing medicine from candy.  Read more HERE!


The Parent Toolkit: How to Prevent Drug Use At Every Age

Whether your child is toddling through preschool, meandering through middle school or cruising through his ’20s — here are tips to help guide him toward a healthy life at every age.
You’ll find tips, guides and articles (available in Spanish) related to:

♦  Children in preschool
♦  Children in Kindergarten to 3rd grade
♦  Children in 4th to 6th grade
♦  The middle school years
♦  Children in 7th to 9th grade
♦  Children in 10th to 12th grade
♦  The high school years
♦  Young adults in college

The Parent Toolkit also has downloadable guides:

Drug Guide for Parents:  Learn the facts to keep your teen safe.

Drug Guide for Grandparents:  Grandparents can help keep their grandkids healthy and drug-free.

Not In My House

1 in 6 children have abused prescription medicines.

Every day, 2,000 teenagers use a prescription drug to get high for the first time. They’re accessing these drugs in the comfort of home; it can be as easy as opening a cupboard, drawer, or medicine cabinet.

The good news – there are steps you can take to help protect your kids from prescription drug abuse: Monitor, Secure and Dispose.

Not In My House provides tips for talking to your kids.  Do you know what “Big Boys”, “Cotton” and “Kicker” really mean? Knowing the vocabulary surrounding prescription drug abuse can help you take a proactive approach in communicating with your teen and safeguarding their health and safety.


Up & Away

More than 60,000 young children end up in emergency departments every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking. Use these step by step, interactive instructions in English and Spanish to keep medicines Up and Away and Out of Sight of children.

1. Pick a place your children cannot reach.
2. Put medicines away every time.
3. Make sure the safety cap is locked.
4. Teach your children about medicine safety.
5. Tell guests about medicine safety.
6. Be prepared in case of an emergency

Take the pledge to keep medicines up and away and out of sight of children so their home is safe for children.


Guide for Parents: Giving OTC Medications to Children

Provides a checklist of things to know and do before giving OTC medicines to children, including their weight, allergies and medicines they are taking. Explains how to use the Drug Facts label to give medicines safely and avoid side effects.

FREE publication from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Education and Research

  Download this publication for FREE (PDF format)


Get Smart About Drugs: A DEA Resource for Parents is all about providing parents and families with a comprehensive collection of resources to help you identify and prevent drug abuse among children and young adults. Knowledge is power–and you are not alone.

Find information on:

♦  How to identify signs of drug abuse
♦  Which medications teen are abusing
♦  The language kids are using to communicate online & on mobile devices
♦  How you can make your home safer

Watch Get Smart About Drugs Videos

From language signs of drug use to preventing prescription drug abuse, view videos from across the website for tips on keeping your family safe from drugs. Watch NOW!


Teen Drug Abuse

Parents are often concerned about whether their children will start or are already using drugs such as tobacco, marijuana, and others, like prescription drugs. Learn the scientific facts about drugs and drug abuse and what you can do to prevent your children from starting to take drugs or progressing further into drug abuse.

  • Help your child make healthy choices and steer clear of drug abuse
  • Find out how drugs affect your child’s body and mind
  • Drug abuse treatment

NC Parent Resource Center

Explore NC Parent Resource Center’s list of online resources to learn more about how you can talk to your children about the risks associated with underage drinking and drug use, signs and symptoms there may be a problem, and where to look for help.


Back to Prescription Medicine Safety Toolkit Homepage


Below you’ll find more resources, videos and activities related to
Prescription Medicine Safety to share with your family.



“Support for this Webpage is provided by a grant to the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education from the American Medical Association Foundation through the Healthy Living Grant Program.”

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