Teen stealing prescription drugs lying on bed

You Caught Your Teen Stealing Your Prescription Drugs—Now What?

For what purpose would a young family member steal prescription pills? Are they taking them to get high, fit in, or feel less anxious, stressed, or depressed? Call 844.875.5609 to speak with someone from Promises about teens stealing prescription drugs and how our drug addiction treatment centers can help.

How to Catch Someone Stealing Pills at Home

When figuring out how to catch someone stealing pills, it often happens by accident. You’re cleaning up the trail of debris left by your teenage son or daughter, and baggies of pills fall out of their clothes, backpacks, or purses. The awful realization sinks in. Your teen has been stealing your prescription medication.

Now you have to do something—but what? Before you get to this point, you may need to investigate further. Unfortunately, not all parents or guardians catch their teens stealing prescription drugs this easily. And when they do, they may need more evidence to discuss drug abuse and addiction.

Take Inventory

Take an inventory of every medication you, your spouse, or anyone else in the household takes. You’ll need to include, for each drug:

  • The medication’s name
  • For whom it was prescribed
  • For what purpose it was prescribed
  • The total amount
  • The dosage

Next, compare the pills you’ve found to what you have in your inventory. Talk with the parents of your teen’s friends and other family members and friends who take prescription medications with whom your teen interacts. Enlist their help in doing the same type of inventory.

Safely Discard Unused Medications

Undoubtedly you’ll find prescription drugs that you no longer need. Unless they’re medically necessary, you must eliminate them. Take all the medications from the bottles and place them in plastic bags or airtight containers, then dump them in the trash.

Lock Up Medications

You’ll need to safeguard any remaining prescription medications by locking them up. Ask that your relatives, friends, and the parents of your teen’s friends do the same. Although you can’t compel them to do so, raising the issue with them will hopefully cause them to consider the matter seriously.

Enlist the Support of Your Spouse

If you are married, you must discuss the matter with your spouse. Do so calmly and nonjudgmentally since the last thing you want is to have your spouse unite with your teen against you. Once you discuss it with your spouse, you’re ready to confront your teen.

Confront Your Teen About Stealing Prescription Drugs

You must deal with any family member stealing prescription pills in your home, but the matter is urgent if it’s a teenager.

Ask About Their Mental Health

Ask them if they’re feeling anxious or depressed—or if something’s going wrong at school. Chances are, if you haven’t noticed the effects of prescription drug abuse, it hasn’t gone too far yet. It would be best to immediately get your teen checked out and probably evaluated for prescription drug abuse.

Ask If They’re Using, Selling, or Sharing the Prescription Medication

You may hear that your teen feels it is okay to use prescription drugs that aren’t prescribed because they think they’re safe. Explain calmly that prescription drugs taken for nonmedical purposes are dangerous and illegal.

Ask your teenager point-blank if they’re selling or giving drugs to their friends. They may not admit it, but if they haven’t come up with why they have the drugs in their possession, they are likely exchanging drugs with friends.

Let Them Know How Worried You Are About Them

Let them know in no uncertain terms that abuse of prescription drugs is hazardous to their health. Explain that they have been putting themselves in harm’s way, which sets a pattern that could develop into criminal behavior.

Set Stricter Limits

Now’s the time to impose stricter limits. No staying out on school nights past a specific time. Maybe you’ll require purse and bag checks regularly. Let your teen know there are consequences for any infractions of the limits you set.

Find Help for Your Teen with Promises Behavioral Health

If the situation is already out of hand, get your teen into detoxification and prescription drug rehab. Contact Promises today at 844.875.5609 to learn more about how we can help.

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