Lock up med­i­ca­tion to pre­vent theft by teens, doc­tor says

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - CANADA -

VAN­COU­VER – A doc­tor who treats chronic sub­stance users says teenagers who steal pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion from their fam­ily’s medicine cab­i­net may be at risk of be­com­ing ad­dicted to drugs.

Dr. Wil­liam Barakett says par­ents need to lock up their drugs, re­turn un­used med­i­ca­tion to a phar­macy and en­sure their kids aren’t us­ing drugs to mask an emo­tional dis­or­der.

Barakett, an ad­vi­sory coun­cil mem­ber for Drug Free Kids Canada, says par­ents should also take a “good hard look” at whether there’s a fam­ily his­tory of ad­dic­tion. He re­cently tes­ti­fied be­fore a House of Com­mons com­mit­tee hear­ing on mar­i­juana and says many of his pa­tients be­gan smok­ing pot as kids be­fore tak­ing their fam­ily’s med­i­ca­tion and seek­ing opi­oids else­where.

Mike Serr, chair­man of the drug ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee for the Cana­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Chiefs of Po­lice, says par­ents often don’t no­tice when one or two pills are miss­ing, es­pe­cially if a drug is taken oc­ca­sion­ally.

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