• Protect Your Teen From Prescription Drug Abuse | Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler – Episode 4

    February 13, 2018
  • Grades, winning, being a leader, joining the right club, getting into the college of your choice, being liked on social media, what to do and who to be—these are all things that create huge pressure for our teens and twenty somethings.

    One of the ways they’re dealing with that pressure is by overusing and abusing prescription drugs. This is a sneaky situation that takes parents by surprise. Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler, two of the co-founders of DASIUM and co-hosts of the Mighty Parenting podcast, are diving into the problem of prescription drug abuse and misuse; taking a look at who’s at risk and what parents can do to intervene and prevent it on the home-front.


    A Favorite Quote from the Show:

    “Parents always ask, “How was I so blind, how did I miss all the signs?””

    The High Points:

    Our kids are under extreme pressure in everyday life. That pressure can lead to emotional pain. The emotional pain can cause them to turn to unhealthy coping strategies, including prescription drug abuse in teens.

    Prescription Drug abuse sneaks up because:

    • Parents don’t expect kids to use the family medicine cabinet as a drug source.
    • Early use doesn’t have the physical display that street drugs or alcohol do.

    Parents inadvertently contribute the pressure by:

    • Judging our kids
    • Sending the message that your child can’t handle things without you
    • Refusing to take off our blinders and accept that our child could be in trouble
    • Not teaching them alternative/healthy coping strategies
    • Not allowing them to experience the negative emotions or consequence of actions when choosing to use unhealthy strategies for managing their daily lives.

    Seven things parents can do to reduce the risk:

    1. Watch what’s being prescribed*
    2. Ask your doctor and pharmacist questions
    3. Request non-narcotic pain relievers
    4. Lock up prescriptions
    5. Track prescriptions
    6. Dispose of unused prescriptions (including pet meds)
    7. Give your child a code word to get out of sticky situations

    *At times there may be a need for a strong pain reliever in order for an injury to heal without putting unnecessary stress on the patient. So please talk with your doctor and find the healthy balance of when prescription medication is truly a necessity.

    More from our Guests:

    Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler are entrepreneurs who help people live better lives. When they saw the growing number of teens and young adults struggling with depression and addiction and attempting suicide, they knew they could make a difference. Along with Geoffrey Davis, they created DASIUM to reach individuals and families in need. They focus on creating awareness of the growing problem, providing knowledge and inspiring action that saves lives. Explore DASIUM.net and discover ways you and your community can get ahead of this growing crisis.

    Sandy & Judy share some suggested words to say when talking to your child:

    • Are you okay?
    • How can I help you right now?
    • I’m sorry that you’re hurting.
    • Life can be tough and, while it may still hurt or be sad or make you angry, there are ways to handle that so you can pass through it to the other side. (Teach healthy coping strategies)
    • Have you ever taken prescription meds without an adult present? / How did that make you feel?
    • Has a friend offered you a pill? / How did you react to that?
    • What do you think is a prescription med? And what do you think they do for you?
    • Do you think it’s okay to use medicine that wasn’t prescribed for you specifically?
    • When you think of relieving the pain you have, what do you think would work best? Discuss other options to try before going to the level of a prescription drug. For example:
      • Injury – ice
      • Muscle cramps – heat
      • Headache – food, water, essential oils
      • Chiropractic, acupuncture, etc.
      • Over-the-counter medications (Motrin, Tylenol)