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Study: Parents not talking with kids about dangers of prescription drugs

The Partnership at released a new study Tuesday that showed only 14 percent of teens said they’ve ever talked with their parents about abusing drugs like Adderall or Ritalin.

This is a growing trend that is being seen in Mid-Missouri.

The study also showed one in six parents thinks getting high on prescriptions like Adderall is safer than the harder, illegal street drugs.

Nearly one-third of parents think ADHD medications help their children, even if they don’t have ADHD.

However, professionals are warning otherwise.

“(Prescription drugs are) affecting their heart and their liver, and all different parts that are requiring long-term treatment for them,” Tanya Weigand of Pathways Behavior Health told ABC 17 News.

Weigand said a lot of adults who struggle with this addiction began using these prescriptions at a younger age.

She also warned how easy it is for teens to get their hands on these types of pills; sometimes even from their own home.

“Parents are naive or trusting their kids and not locking the medications up and maybe not even knowing they’re missing them until it’s too late,” Weigand said.

The home medicine cabinet isn’t the only place teens are finding prescriptions.

“One trend we’re seeing, they’re calling farm parties, where kids are each bringing medications they found in their medicine cabinet, throwing them into a bowl and each child is taking a handful and consuming them,” Weigand said.

She said the key to keeping kids safe is to have conversations with them about the dangers of using prescription drugs that are not prescribed to them before they are faced with the pressure to try it.

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