Teens Over 1/3 of New Prescription Drug Abusers

Most parents are willing to discuss the dangers of using illegal drugs with their teenaged children. But there is another risk out there that many do not even think about the dangers that it presents. Prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as any illegal drug when they are taken outside of a doctor’s orders, and there is a growing trend of prescription drug abuse among teens.

A study released in April 2013 by The Partnership at Drugfree.org reveals that 81% of teenagers say that their parents have had a discussion with them about marijuana use, while on the other hand only 14% say that they have had a discussion about the abuse of prescription drugs. This is a danger as prescription drugs are a part of everyday life, and outside of their prescribed use they can be deadly.

What Counts as Prescription Drug Abuse?

The first thought that may come to mind about drug abuse may be someone who is using painkillers for the narcotic effect, but in reality it is much broader. Any use outside of the prescription is an abuse, even if it is using the drug for the intended effect by someone who hasn’t been prescribed the drug. A prescription can be abused as well when the drug is used in a different dose by the person who has the prescription.

Teens Over 1/3 of New Prescription Drug Abusers

Is Prescription Drug Abuse Dangerous?

With the advances in modern medicine, it may seem that prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs, but outside of their intended use they can be even more dangerous to the abuser. One of the largest worries even with prescribed drugs is the way they interact with other medications, and without going through the proper process a person is not protected by the various safe guards devised to prevent those problems. Without going through that process a person also loses the safeguard that is a physician evaluating a person for personal details like body size and medical issues that can affect the type and dosage of the needed drug.

When it comes to abuse for a high or other effects that are not what the drug is intended for, the risks can be even higher. Not only does this increase the likelihood that a person will overdose on the drug, many people will modify the way they take the drug. For example, some people abusing painkillers will crush the pills and inhale the powder, this takes a pill that was designed to spread out the dose over hours of time and have the effect hit the nervous system at once.

Don’t forget that prescription drugs are as much of a worry as marijuana and other drugs when you are talking to your children about drug abuse. Remind them that there are dangers when you don’t follow the prescription or take drugs prescribed to someone else. Remember as well, there are treatment plans available to help people who abuse drugs. Sadly while the help is out there, only 10% of people over 12 in need of therapy have received it.

Make sure that you safely dispose of all expired and unused drugs. Many times people end up not using up all of the drugs that they are prescribed and do not know what to do with them. These drugs can end up cluttering a medicine cabinet for years and can be a temptation to someone looking to experiment with drug abuse. Most drugs can be thrown away in the trash, but check the label to make sure there aren’t any special instructions for disposal.

Teen substance abuse is serious business, and it simply cannot be ignored. If you are a teen who is struggling with substance abuse of any kind, or if you know a teen that is, now is the time to get some real professional medical help. The right prescription drug abuse treatment program is going to work wonders in helping to eliminate a substance abuse problem involving prescription drugs once and for all.

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