Pharming: a new threat to youth

Many parents don't know about the risks presented by "pharming" or possibly, what it is. While numbers are not conclusively available, it is believed that few parents talk to their children about prescription drug abuse. About ninety percent of adults state that they have warned their children about illicit drug and alcohol use. Only thirty percent of teens say they learn about the dangers of drugs from their parents. That is a significant gap and information sources outside the family become especially important given the information gap around drugs. The good news is that youth that learn about the dangers of drugs from their parents are fifty percent less likely to use drugs.

Parents, go to the internet. Learn about this issue. Talk to your child in a reasonable manner about your concerns. Your caring words are very important to your children; they want to hear from you. Learn what medications are subject to abuse. Learn how to secure narcotic medications and how to dispose of them safely when unused by you. While prescription drug abuse is a new concern and parents need to protect their children, overall, youth are doing well when drugs are considered. Overall, illicit drug use rates have leveled off and in many instances declined. Let's not forget that.

If parents let their children know that they are concerned about this dangerous practice and act responsibly in handling prescription drugs, prescription drug abuse may be a temporary blip on the screen. Remember, all kids count.

Scot Hurlburt can be reached by e-mail at hurlburt@wildblue.net

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