In Prescription Drug Abuse

Forty years ago teenagers were into LSD, PCP, smoking marijuana and using speed. Not so much today. Although illicit drug use is still common among teens and adults, prescription drugs have become the main substance being used by teenagers to get high. Why? And what kind of drug addiction rehab is best for young people?

Prescription drug use has escalated among adults; therefore teens have limitless access to just about anything they want. Grandparents, parents and other relatives, and even relatives of their peers often unwittingly provide teens with opportunities to steal and use prescription drugs. Even more frightening is that sometimes they take pills without knowing what ailment the pills treat. This can lead to serious complications and death.

Society in general has a warped view of legal drugs; even assuming they are basically harmless and non-addictive just because the family physician prescribed them. If adults aren’t educated about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, how can we expect our young ones to be savvy?

If you store your prescriptions in an accessible place, you may inadvertently be setting your own child up to use prescription drugs. Always keep your medications, out of sight and out of reach. Keep them in a small safe or secret space only you know about. Even medications that have no mind-altering effects should be kept hidden, as these can be taken with over the counter meds or alcohol by an experimenting teenager. This practice is called “pharming” and can be fatal.

Be open with your teen about the dangers of using medications not prescribed for him. You may have your meds on lockdown but his friends’ parents may not. Warn your teen that sharing, mixing and combining prescription and over the counter drugs with alcohol can be fatal or cause serious brain damage.

Be aware that obtaining prescription medications without a doctor’s permission is very easy to accomplish on the Internet. Know what sites your child visits. Monitor his online activity. If possible, keep the computer where hiding what he is doing is nearly impossible because other family members are close by.

Over the counter medications can also be abused. “Robo-tripping” is a term used when teens ingest large doses of cough syrup (especially Robitussin), which can be extremely dangerous and possibly fatal.

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