When people think of a drug abuser, they may typically think of a teen or young adult abusing marijuana, cocaine or LSD. It may come as a surprise that people of all ages abuse drugs, particularly prescription drugs.
In fact, it’s estimated that 16 million Americans abuse prescription drugs, according to a report done in 2009. Take a look in any medicine cabinet, particularly seniors, and you’ll quickly see the ease in which they are readily available to abuse. In fact, 13 percent of prescription drug abusers are seniors. Seniors make up a large portion of our outpatients, about one-third. Also, they’re more likely to be prescribed multiple and long-term prescriptions.
The Ease Of Seniors Getting Prescriptions & How This Leads To Abuse By All
Often, when a senior’s long-term prescription has expired all that is needed to extend it is a quick call to their doctor’s office to inform them that they still need the prescription, making it very easy for them to continue the abuse of prescription drugs. This may also lead to being an easy target for a younger relative to stock up on these drugs for themselves.
For example, a teen makes a stop at their grandparent’s house, uses the restroom and discovers the surplus of prescription drugs in the cabinet. Lets say there’s nine bottles, with an average of 35 pills in each. That could be up to 315 pills in one location. Most likely the grandparents aren’t going to do a pill count once a week, making it a basically a free pill dispenser.
How are grandparents, with no intention of being prescription drug distributors, going to notice if five or six pills are missing every once in awhile? Maybe the medicine cabinet isn’t the safest place for medicine, which leads to the next problem of prescription drug abuse.
Shockingly, teens often receive their prescription drugs illegally from friends and family members that have a prescription for them, because either they no longer take them or never took them in the first place. Unfortunately, some people don’t want to see them go to waste. It’s not uncommon for a teen to be prescribed Oxycontin, Ritalin or Vicodin, decide not to take it and give it to a willing friend.
What these teen are either not aware of or don’t care to confront, is the fact that these painkillers and stimulants are highly addictive and can create a long-term physical dependence in the abuser.
Tips From Narconon To Prevent This Growing Issue
Many studies have shown that Americans informed of the risks of abusing not only prescription drugs, but all drugs, have a much lower chance of taking them, proving that education is the key to fighting this war. Perhaps the reason most people take prescription drugs is because they’re uneducated in the risks of abusing them and feel they are safe because they’ve come from a trusted doctor.
Your local county should have a prescription drug disposal program, please make the decision to be part of the solution and deliver all of your unused and expired prescription drugs to your local disposal program.
In addition to this senior adults as well as younger adults, and kids should be educated on the dangers and addictive potential for prescriptions. This should be done within the family as well as in schools.
For those already abusing prescriptions – drug rehabilitation is the only solution. If you are aware of a prescription problem, don’t wait. Contact Narconon today to get immediate help for yourself or a loved one.