Substance Abuse Prevention

The Teen Health Connection Youth Drug Free Coalition is committed to preventing prescription and over-the-counter medicine misuse and abuse. Mecklenburg and surrounding counties have permanent drop-box locations for community members to dispose of unused or expired medicines safely.

The drop-box locations are:

  • Matthews Police Department,1201 Crews Road, Matthews, NC
  • Mint Hill Police Department, 7151 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill
  • Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office - Jail North Location, 5235 Spector Drive, Charlotte
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, 601 E. Trade Street, Charlotte

Keeping unused medications in the home increases the chances of access by young children and creates an opportunity for teens to experiment, often serving as a gateway to more highly addictive drugs. Here are a few ways to help keep your family safe when prescriptions are in the home:

  • Do not take medication for longer than prescribed or in higher doses than prescribed
  • Do not mix medications without a prescrition or recommendation from a physician
  • Do not take medication that is prescribed for someone else
  • Follow the instructions for any medication that you take
  • Safely store prescription and over-the-counter medication
  • When medication is no longer needed, dispose of the medicine safely and properly

Teen Health Connection also offers free classes for parents and professionals focused on the prevention of substance abuse among teenagers. The classes are designed to promote awareness of the substance abuse issues that today's teens are facing and equip parents and professionals with the knowledge and skills to prevent substance use and abuse.

We offer Substance Abuse Prevention through our Parenting the Love and Logic Way classes. You can learn more about our Parenting the Love and Logic Way classes or enroll in a class here. 

All of the parenting classes are free for participants to attend. If you are affiliated with a group, faith-based organization or school that is interested in offering one of our free classes, please contact Kathy O'Reilly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 704-381-8333 so that she can schedule a class for your group. 

Health Educator

Kathy O'Reilly Kathy Reilly

Kathy is a Health Educator at Teen Health Connection. Kathy has worked with youth and families delivering prevention programs that empower them to make healthy lifestyle choices. In addition, she has worked as an educator in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools partnering with community members and professionals to develop strategies, programs and policies to address substance abuse issues in the community. Kathy is passionate about empowering youth and their parents to make healthy lifestyle choices. Kathy believes that it takes a community to prevent and address substance abuse and she is eager to help others become part of the solution.