Don’t Be Tricked Into Thinking Your Child (or Teen) Won’t Misuse or Abuse Prescription Drugs

Updated 51 weeks ago Edited from a Press Release

CHARLESTON, WV – Many people in West Virginia have been affected by prescription drug abuse, including children and teens. Around the nation, nearly one in four teens have misused or abused prescription drugs.

How do you know if a prescription medicine can be abused?  A prescription drug which can be abused is called a controlled substance.  By law, pharmacists must place the following words on the label or sticker of a bottle containing a controlled substance: “CAUTION: Federal law prohibits the transfer of this drug to any person other than the patient for whom it was prescribed.”  Examples of prescriptions with this labeling include hydrocodone for pain, lorazepam for sleep or anxiety, and lisdexamphetamine for hyperactivity.

The West Virginia Poison Center offers the following recommendations:

  • Talk to your child/teenage about the dangers of medications.  Emphasize that use of another person’s prescription medication is not safer than drugs like methamphetamine.
  • Discard unused medications.  For example, if you only used three days of a pain medication after surgery and you have multiple tablets left, discard them.  A common source of drugs abused or given to friends by teens is their parent’s medications.  
  • Teach your child it is never safe to take anything to make them high or alter how they feel.
  • Teach your child to never share prescription medication with others.  Talk to them about how to avoid being bullied into giving prescription medications to someone else.  
  • Prescription medications can result in poisoning.  If you think your child may have recently taken a prescription medicine that is not theirs call the West Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. Medical experts at the West Virginia Poison Center are available to help.

About the West Virginia Poison Center:

The West Virginia Poison Center provides comprehensive emergency poison information, prevention and educational resources to West Virginians 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The WVPC is staffed by nurses, pharmacists and physicians with special training in treatment of poisonings. Located in Charleston, WV, the WVPC is a part of the West Virginia University-Charleston Division.  Toll-free:1-800-222-1222. Website:




For more information, the media may contact Carissa McBurney, Community Outreach Coordinator, at 304.347.1379, 304.552.6338 (cell phone) or
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