According to a recent research study, one in eight older US teenagers have abused painkiller drugs without prescriptions, and many of the abuse is occurring between the ages of 16-17. In fact, both medical and recreational use of painkiller drugs has increased in the US over the last two decades, with a resultant increase in deaths due to painkiller overdoses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 14,800 Americans died of an opioid overdose in 2008 – three times the number of such deaths 20 years earlier. The fact that one in eight US Teens misuses pain drugs is not just an abuse problem but a problem with teens losing their lives too young to something that could have been completely prevented.
Right now the non-medical use of prescription has surpassed all illicit drug abuse other than marijuana. It has been a continual alarming trend and problem that is concerning educators, enforcement, Narconon drug rehabilitation and other private and public organizations across the nation as to what to do about the problem.
The Prescription Misuse Breakdown
According to recent research, it was discovered that of the teens, about 13% said they had used prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons, such as to get high. Most of the kids who had misused the drugs had been prescribed them for some medical condition that they validly had. Suggesting that they are using left over medication to get high, or abusing the prescription that they were given.
The research also revealed that the general age that teens are beginning to use the painkillers is 16 or 17, which is earlier than had previously been expected.
This research suggests that education programs should start focusing not only on high school seniors and above, but also on the education of freshman and sophomores in high school.
Some of the most abused prescription painkillers by teens include oxycodone, hydrocodone, Oxy Contin and Vicodin.
More On What Prescriptions Are Most Abused
In a 2005 survey by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America indicated that 19% of U.S. teenagers, roughly 4.5 million youths, reported having abused prescription painkillers such as Vicodin or Oxy Contin or stimulants such as Ritalin or Adderall to get high.
Vicodin has been particularly popular in recent years; a study by the University of Michigan in 2005 found that nearly 10% of 12th-graders had used it in the previous year. About 5.5% said they had used Oxy Contin. Both drugs are now more popular among high school seniors than Ecstasy and cocaine, one reason being the ease of access of the prescription drugs as opposed to the illegal drugs, yet having similar potency.
Where Does The Responsibility Lie
There is a responsibility for this epidemic that lies with parents and doctors. The main source of access to painkillers is either from doctors prescribing pain medication or from the medicine cabinet at home. The organization Narconon drug rehabilitation states that with more caution being taken by parents and doctors, the ease of access factor can at least be reduced and maybe with that the rise of prescription drug abuse can be slowed down.
The fact that one in eight US teens misuses pain drugs is a cold hard reality that we must face. Solutions lie only in prevention to stop new users and Narconon drug rehabilitation or other treatment solutions that use drug-free approaches that will permanently handle the problem.
For more information on the growing prescription pain drug problem or to get help for someone with a prescription addiction through Narconon drug rehabilitation contact us today.