Deep down inside, you know that your child is a good kid. But you also know that good kids sometimes make mistakes. And if you suspect that they’re misusing prescription drugs, you’re right to be concerned.
As the popularity of misusing prescription drugs has skyrocketed, more and more teens and young adults are becoming victims of addiction, health problems and overdoses.
Prescription drugs are pills and other types of medicine that a doctor or qualified medical professional has ordered for a specific person and for a specific medical purpose.
Because prescription drugs are powerful, and because they have serious side effects, doctors who prescribe these drugs take many factors into consideration before doing so – such as the patient’s weight and medical history.
And, because prescription drugs are for specific people with specific medical needs, it is illegal for a person other than the patient to use the prescription – even for the same medical condition. It’s also illegal for the patient to use the prescription in an amount other than what was prescribed.
Many types of prescription drugs are misused, but the three most common are:
In the last few years, prescription drug abuse among teens has skyrocketed. In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse recently found that for Americans over the age of 13, prescription drugs are the most misused substances other than marijuana and alcohol.
Researchers also recently found that one in ten high-school seniors had misused prescription drugs within the past twelve months, and one in twenty of them had done so in the previous month. That’s a lot of kids who need help.
One reason people often misuse prescription drugs is that the drugs are relatively easy to obtain. Young people often get prescription drugs from the following sources:
Because of their narcotic properties and high addiction risk, it’s illegal to use prescription drugs without a prescription. When people take these substances in amount or in a way that was not prescribed, it can lead to serious health problems and even death. Some specific examples of harmful side effects include the following:
The most serious danger of these drugs is that of overdosing. Most deaths from overdose in the US today are a result of the misuse of prescription drugs. A recent study shows that about 60,000 Americans died from prescription drug overdoses in 2016.
Teens misuse these drugs for a number of reasons, such as the following:
If you are concerned that your child is using these drugs, you should watch for the following signs of drug abuse.
If you suspect that your child is misusing prescription drugs, you may not know what to do. But there’s hope. Keep these points in mind:
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