Youth Safety

Youth safety

Substance (drug) and medication safety

Some youth use substances (drugs) such as alcohol or prescription medications to deal with managing daily stress or pressures to perform well in sports or at school. Parents can play a key part in teaching youth about substances (drugs). Talk about substances (drugs) and their effects early, often and openly.

  • Store substances (drugs) and medications in safe place (includes alcohol, prescription and non-prescription medicines).
  • Keep track of all substances (drugs) in the home; includes alcohol, prescription and non-prescription medications.
  • Dispose of all unused or expired medications.

Parents can also teach and model healthy coping strategies with their teens such as:

  • Talking about concerns.
  • Eating well and planning regular exercise.
  • Learning to take time to relax and unwind; reading or listening to music.

Watch for missing medication and return unused medications to your pharmacy or at a pharmacy participating in the Ontario Medication Return Program. If you need to have prescription medications at home, lock them up and check regularly.

The Link Ottawa has great information you can share with your teen on how to deal with stress


Do you have more questions about parenting?

  • Connect with a registered nurse from Health811 for free, secure, and confidential health advice. Service is available 24/7 in English and French, with translation support also offered in other languages. Call 8-1-1 or visit
  • Connect with a Community Navigator from 2-1-1 for information about community programs and resources across Eastern Ontario. Helpline service is available 24/7 and in many different languages. Call 2-1-1 or visit
  • Connect with other parents on the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page.
  • There are a variety of services to make it easier for your child to grow up healthy in Ottawa.
  • You can update your child's immunization record using either the CANImmunize App or the Immunization Connect Ontario (ICON) Tool
  • If you have received a message from Ottawa Public Health such as a letter or a call regarding immunization, an infectious disease, or infection control lapse, please call 613-580-6744 and listen to the menu options carefully.

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