Drug abuse is continuing to increase amongst teenagers, but one type of drug has significantly increased in use over the past two decades – painkiller abuse. The abuse of pain drugs has now surpassed every other substance abuse amongst teens besides marijuana.
Based on a recent survey, one in eight teens misuse pain drugs. This is mostly happening in the 16-17 year old age bracket.
Factors Contributing To The Problem
In looking into the facts regarding the misuse of pain drugs, the survey found that of the 7,400 high school seniors that were asked, 13% of them had misused painkillers.
A revealing aspect of this was that most of the teenagers who had misused the drugs had already been given a prescription for some actual pain and had used the leftover amount in order to get high.
Are we over prescribing pain medication to our youth?
The question can be asked in light of the fact that the pain drugs are so rapidly becoming a way to get high amongst our youth and according to the survey, the major source of the drugs are through leftover prescriptions. Some of these pain drugs, such as Vicodin and Oxycontin, are actually classified as a Schedule III and Schedule II drugs respectively, which essentially means they have high addictive potential although they can legally be prescribed in the US.
When a teenager uses one of these potent pain drugs, even for a medical reason, that drug is now in his system and it seems as though this could be creating dependency to the drug he was prescribed.
It seems more and more we have become ‘a quick fix society’, the bombardment of marketing on over the counter pain relievers has been non-stop for over 50 years. If your shoulder aches, we have the solution, if you have a headache, take this. Stressed out, no problem, take two of these. The message is nearly non-stop and is backed by a multi-billion dollar industry. It seems that every little ache, pain, problem, whatever the physical or social discomfort, the solution is always at the drugstore or from your doctor.
Solutions To The Epidemic
The manner in which the epidemic can be slowed down really seems to lie with the doctors and the parents of the teens. Doctors are prescribing these powerful pain drugs to teens and with the continual increase in abuse, should take care in how much or for what they are prescribing these drugs to teens.
Parents of the teens also have a responsibility in terms of keeping safe the prescription drugs that they have in their medicine cabinets. This is another method teens have used to get their hands on pain drugs, by stealing from the medicine cabinets at home.
If greater care is taken by both the parents and doctors, maybe then the trend of teenage pain drug abuse will start to go in another direction.
In addition to this, help has to be gotten for those addicted to these substances. They are just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than illicit drugs. Right now nearly 8 million people abuse prescriptions and many of them are teens while one in eight US teens misuses pain drugs.
If you know of someone who is misusing pain drugs and would like to get them effective help call Narconon drug rehabilitation today for more information. Narconon drug rehabilitation achieves a 76% success rate for permanent recovery from prescription abuse and has locations that can help teens as well as young adults with addiction problems.