Misuse of drugs and alcohol can cause overdoses, accidents, life problems, health problems, and death.

Using drugs that are illegal or misusing prescription drugs keeps people from having healthy, happy lives. Drugs can hurt your relationships and your ability to work.

Treatment works. It helps people recover from addiction. It's better for people to get help early, before their drug problem gets worse. More and more general doctors are trained to spot signs of a possible drug problem early and speak with the patient about it.

But the best protection from the dangers of drugs is to not start in the first place. Parents should watch their kids closely. Even if you think you have the type of kid that wouldn’t try drugs, pressure from other kids can be hard to resist.

What can you do?

Know the facts about drugs and addiction:

Talk with your children:

Keep your home safe:

  • Put your medicines in a safe place so that others can't take them. You might want to lock them somewhere.
  • Get rid of medicines when you don't need them anymore. You can take them to your local "drug take back" event. You can also throw some medicines in your trash by mixing the drugs with things like dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds or flush them down the toilet.
  • Keep track of cleaners, spray cans, and other stuff in the house that people can inhale to get high.

NEXT: Help Children and Teens Stay Drug-Free