A recent survey taken by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that 6,000 Americans a day begin to abuse prescription drugs. More than 1/3 of these new abusers are under the age of 18. Many people believe that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs because they are prescribed by doctors.
This may be a reason why people try them in the first place. Another reason is that they are fairly easy to get a hold of, as they are commonly found in most people’s homes in America. A study done by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control showed that visits to the ER that were related to the misuse of prescription pain relievers more than double between 2004 and 2008. Unfortunately, it is clear that the abuse of these types of drugs are on the incline.
The Dangers Of Abusing Prescription Drugs
This may come as a surprise to many, but the abuse of prescription painkillers has been shown to lead to heroin use. In fact, many heroin addicts have reported that they turned to heroin when the prescription painkillers became too expensive to support their habit.
As with all drugs, a tolerance begins to build over time with frequent use and the addict has to take more and more of the drug to feel the desired effects. This can become very expensive with prescription drugs. Someone addicted to prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, Methadone, Oxycontin and Percocet may need to take around six or seven pills per day in order to keep their high.
Surprisingly, this same amount of pills can be sold for a gram of heroin, which can supply an addict with a high for three to four days. A recent change in the formula of the painkiller OxyContin leaves the pills crush-proof, and therefore difficult for abusers to snort or inject. This also has many painkiller addicts turning to heroin, as the pills are no longer an option. In fact, a study of more than 2,500 people with opioid dependence found a 17 percent drop in OxyContin abuse with the 2010 arrival of the new formula. During the same time period, heroin abuse doubled.
Why Teens Make Up Such A Large Percentage
Teens are often confronted by many challenges during this period in their life. These challenges may include problems at home, social acceptance and peer pressure.
Peer pressure may take place at school as well as in their own homes by way of the Internet. Digital peer pressure is something that is sweeping the nation and affecting teens tremendously. With the popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Myspace, there is an overload of photos and conversations based with partying and hooking up being the main topic. While some may not be interested in this type of behavior, it appeals to many, possibly because of the attention that is gained.
Kids also are dealing with the stress of growing up, possible problems in the home and “trouble fitting in.” Even boredom can be a component. But all of these issues along with the pressure of the media, friends and others mentioned above can cause them to think taking drugs is a solution.
The Narconon center in Hawaii suggests that the only way to handle this is to stop the problem before it starts. This is done through drug prevention and drug education. For those who have been exposed to drug use, rehabilitation is the only solution.
For more information contact the Narconon center in Hawaii today.