To self-medicate means to take drugs without a doctor’s prescription. This practice is very common, especially because it is easy to do. It is not without consequences to your health. It may even be fatal.

Did you Know it?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHS), every day 2,500 youth age 12 to 17 abuse a pain reliever for the very first time. In 2006, more than 2.1 million teens ages 12 to 17 reported abusing prescription drugs. Among 12- and 13-year-olds, prescription drugs are the drug of choice.

What to Tell Children (book excerpt)

• Do not abuse over-the-counter drugs in order to relieve minor recurrent illnesses. It is better to ask a doctor why the illnesses recur.
• Read drug warning labels and instructions carefully prior to taking any medication, and follow the instructions to the letter.
• Avoid repeating a treatment which helped during a previous infection.
• Never take more medication than prescribed thinking it will speed up the healing process.

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