Easy access to prescription drugs by teens – often from their parents’ medicine cabinet or those of their friends’ parents – makes them a prime target of curious young people who are experimenting with drugs. A growing number of youths have been seen in emergency rooms for accidental overdoses of prescription drugs. Lock the Cabinet is a campaign to encourage adults to take all necessary precautions to ensure children and teens are not taking drugs that can damage their developing brains and bodies.

There’s one overriding reason why you should never share medications that are prescribed only for you: it can result in serious, even fatal consequences to others that take them.

According to Lock the Cabinet, it’s hard to find a group of junior or senior-high school students that don’t have some of their parents’ medication in their bags or backpacks. Some teens sell painkiller or opioid medications, along with stimulants and tranquilizers.

Guess what happens when your teenage daughter or son decides to buy or is given one of these hardcore opiates such as OxyContin or Vicodin, stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall, and sedatives or tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax – and takes it in combination with alcohol or other drugs? The threat of serious complications is always present, especially overdose, which can prove fatal.

It’s a tough subject, especially if you have teens that are already beginning to experiment with drug use. You may think that it’s too late to begin a discussion about the dangers of sharing prescription drugs as well as abuse of illegal drugs, but it isn’t.

In the end, there’s never a good reason to share prescription medications with anyone else. You don’t want to be responsible for the consequences and you’d never be able to forgive yourself if that person suffered serious impairment or died as a result of taking medication prescribed for you.

Bottom line: Never share prescription medications with anyone. It’s a bad idea and the results could be tragic.