While the following behaviors may indicate an alcohol or other drug problem, some also reflect normal teenage growing pains.  Experts believe that a problem is more likely if you notice several of these signs at the same time, if they occur suddenly, and if some of them are extreme in nature.


  • Mood changes:  flare-ups of temper; irritability, and defensiveness.
  • School problems:  poor attendance, low grades, and/or recent disciplinary action.
  • Rebelling against family rules.
  • Switching friends, along with a reluctance to have you get to know the new friends.
  • A “nothing matters” attitude:  sloppy appearance, a lack of involvement in former interests, and general low energy.
  • Finding alcohol or drugs in your child’s room or backpack, or smelling alcohol or marijuana on him/her.
  • Physical or mental problems: memory lapses, poor concentration, bloodshot eyes, lack of coordination, slurred speech.
Protect Your Family From Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse

Protect Seniors

Seniors can get confused, take the wrong medicine or expired medications and have adverse effects.

Seniors are vulnerable to crime, and increasingly are the victims of break-ins from those seeking prescription drugs.


TIP – Help seniors organize their medications – put expired or unused medications away for disposal.

Dispose of drugs safely

Don’t flush your drugs down the toilet—the drugs end up in the water supply.


  • Ask your pharmacist if they can accept your drugs—some pharmacies can accept certain medications and some sponsor drug take back days.
  • Bring your drugs on DEA National Take Back Day to a participating local police drop off site. 


TIP – As a last resort—mix your pills or liquids with coffee grounds or cat litter to prevent theft from your household garbage. Take all identifying information off your prescription containers and dispose of separately.

Protect Preschoolers

Keep your drugs in a safe place and out of reach of toddlers and young children.​ 

Accidental prescription drug poisonings of children under five account for over 50% of their emergency room visits.


TIP – Let them know that your drugs are just for you and are “yucky’ for them and will make them sick.

Families can provide the core environment for healthy development of children and supportive adult relationships.   Prevention research shows that something as simple as a family eating one meal a day together is a significant protective factor against high-risk teen behaviors!

Your Support Enables Us to Continue with Our Mission

Protect Teens - Don't be an Accidental Drug Dealer

Have open and honest discussions with teens about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Most kids abusing prescription drugs to say they get their drugs from friends and relatives.


  • ​​The number one reason why teens say they abuse prescription drugs is to deal with pressures and manage school-related stress.
  • Teens also abuse prescription drugs to get high—they can crush, snort, smoke, or inject prescription drugs increase the effects of the drugs.


TIP – Keep your drugs in a locked box to discourage casual “borrowing” of drugs by teens.

Families

Warning Signs of a Teen using drugs or drinking
Sign up for the Prevention Team List to receive current information