Help your teens before they help themselves
Up to 48% percent of Canadian homes contain prescription and over the counter medications - only 11 % of those keep them in a safe place.
* DFK tracking study - Oct 2017
Did you know? 14% of Canadian teens or around 375,000 teens have taken prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them.1
Learn more about common prescription and over the counter medications. Being familiar with the types of medications that are most frequently prescribed will help you identify the ones that pose a potential risk of being used improperly.
1. DFK estimate based on CAMH 2017 OSDUHS
Below are the details of the three most commonly prescribed medications.
Return your old meds - they won't disappear by magic.
Our latest campaign "The Pill Fairy" reminds parents to return their unused or expired prescription and over the counter medications to the pharmacy for safe disposal. It's a great habit that protects your kids and the environment.
Go to Returnyourmeds.ca for more information and to find the drug drop off locations close to you.
You or someone in your family need to take a medical prescription?
There are some simple things you can do right now to keep your prescribed meds safe:
- Install a medicine cabinet with a lock and key
- Store your prescription drugs in a safe, locked drawer or lockbox.
- Have a conversation with your kids about the risks of using prescription drugs improperly.
Store your meds safely in a medication lockbox
This Medication Lockbox will help you keep your meds safely stored, AND you’ll be making a contribution to Drug Free Kids Canada.
$10 of the purchase of this Medication Lockbox from Wellbeings goes towards DFK Canada initiatives to prevent problematic drug use by youth.
Opioid drugs act by effectively changing the way a person experiences pain.
Commonly referred to as painkillers, Opioids are drugs that contain opium or are derived from and imitate opium. They are prescribed for pain relief and are only available by prescription.
Most opioid or painkilling drug prescriptions are non-refillable and, when used properly under a medical doctor’s supervision, are safe and effective.
Morphine derivatives, or narcotics, come from opioids and are used to therapeutically treat pain, suppress coughing, alleviate diarrhea, and induce anesthesia. When using these narcotics, abusers experience a general sense of well-being by reduced tension, anxiety, and aggression.
Although painkillers have different potencies and are taken in different ways, when they are abused they all pose a risk for addiction and other serious effects.
DFK offers links to resources in your region to help you and your family find the right kind of help for opioid or painkiller dependency or addiction.
Fentanyl is a highly potent prescription painkiller that is linked to an increasing number of deaths in this country.
Many of these overdoses are linked to pharmaceutical-grade fentanyl that is diverted onto the streets and consumed unknowingly by those with addictions and recreational users alike. However, illicit fentanyl produced in clandestine labs is also responsible for causing overdose deaths.
DFK offers links to resources in your region to help you and your family find the right kind of help for fentanyl abuse.
Sedatives/Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants
Prescription sedatives are central nervous system (CNS)depressants, meaning that they depress or slow down the body’s functions.
These medications are mainly used to relieve anxiety and assist with sleep problems. Other medical uses include inducing sedation for surgical and other medical procedures, treatment of alcohol withdrawal, seizure control and relaxation of skeletal muscles.
Often referred to as sedatives and tranquilizers, CNS depressants are substances that can slow normal brain function. Most CNS depressants reduce brain function through a neurotransmitter called gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA), a chemical that enables communication between brain cells.
Prescription sedatives and CNS depressants are usually taken in pill form; however, some are available as suppositories or prepared as a solution for injection.
Sedatives are often prescribed by doctors to treat a variety of health conditions including anxiety and panic attacks, tension, acute stress reactions and sleep disorders. When given in high doses, sedatives may act as anesthesia. Sedatives have the potential for abuse and should be used only as prescribed.
DFK offers links to resources in your area to help you and your family find the right kind of help for sedative dependency or addiction.
Stimulants are a broad category of substances that act to increase the level of activity of the central nervous system. Stimulants increase alertness, attention, and energy, as well as elevate blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration.
The category includes commonly used substances such as caffeine and nicotine, over-the-counter decongestants, (e.g., pseudoephedrines like Sudafed TM), illegal drugs (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine), and prescription medications.
The most common use of prescription stimulants is to treat individuals diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Prescription stimulants are also prescribed by doctors to treat conditions such as asthma, respiratory problems, obesity, and the treatment of narcolepsy and other sleep disorders.
DFK offers links to resources in your region to help you and your family find the right kind of help for sedative or depressant dependency or addiction.