Prescription Drug Abuse in Adolescents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 52 million Americans use prescription drugs for non-medical reasons at least once in their life. Every day, approximately 44 Americans die from prescription painkiller overdoses. Thus, it is an alarming scenario with prescription painkillers causing more than 16,000 deaths and 475,000 emergency room visits annually. No wonder, the prescription drug abuse helpline numbers never stop ringing.

It is more terrifying when it comes to adolescents. Being young with impressionable minds, they are more susceptible to fall prey to prescription drug abuse. Seeking prescription drug addiction treatment help remains the only solution in such a situation.

According to the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, one out of every five teens in the U.S. abuse prescription drugs to get high. Almost half of them who have abused prescription painkillers also report abusing two or more drugs, including marijuana. They are also likely to abuse alcohol. Children reportedly do not feel any guilt pangs, because the drugs aren’t illegal and are also not shamed because they are not abusing illicit drugs, just prescription medicines. Adolescents abusing prescription drugs without any sign of inhibition is a dangerous trend.

As per a study titled “Psychotropic Medication Use among Adolescents: United States, 2005-2010,” about 6.3 percent U.S. adolescents reported any type of psychotropic medication use in the past month, during the period 2005-2010. The study, conducted by Bruce S. Jonas, Sc.M., Ph.D., Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D. and Juan R. Albertorio-Diaz, M.A., has summed the findings as below:

  • The highest abuse seen is of antidepressants (3.2 percent) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) drugs (3.2 percent). They are followed by antipsychotics (1 percent); anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics (0.5 percent); and antimanics (0.2 percent).
  • Males (4.2 percent) are more likely to use ADHD drugs as compared to females (2.2 percent), and females (4.5%) are more likely than males (2 percent) to use antidepressants.
  • The use of psychotropic drug was higher among non-Hispanic white (8.2 percent) adolescents than non-Hispanic black (3.1 percent) and Mexican-American (2.9 percent) adolescents.
  • Approximately half of the U.S. adolescents using psychotropic drugs in the past month had seen a mental health professional in the past year (53.3 percent).

Adolescents and prescription drugs

According to a 2008 report of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 64 percent of the youth aged 12 to 17 who have abused pain relievers said they got the medicines from friends or relatives, often without the other person’s knowledge. Very few of them said that they procured prescription medicines from the internet.

However, they engaged in online chat and gathered information about drugs and others’ experiences. Another potential place to obtain prescription drugs is their respective schools. Rampant exchange of medicines and trade flourish in the corridors.

Ways to check abuse

The study feels that prescription drug abuse in adolescents should be taken seriously like any other abuse. Parents and caregivers have a significant role to play in curbing this menace. Since a school is a fertile spot for procuring prescription drugs, authorities have a pivotal role in addressing it. Regular seminars and inviting guest speakers to talk on the dangers of this can help in reducing this threat.

Government agencies should also exert their influence and work towards eradicating abuse of prescription drugs. Introducing stringent laws, implementing reforms and educating the people at large will go a long way.

Even physicians should play their part. Keeping detailed records of patients, educating parents about any drugs prescribed to their children and enquiring about their patients’ past abuses will also help in preventing this malady.

What Do the Best Drug Rehab Centers Have in Common?

Drug addiction can be a scary and damaging disease that does not just affect the person with the disease but their entire family. Some people are able to conquer the disease on their own. Other addicts require professional help in order to kick their particular addiction. There are many drug rehabilitation centers around available to those that are looking to help end their fight with drug addiction.

There are different kinds of rehab centers designed for different kinds of fight with the disease. While many rehab centers are different in their methods, there is one thing that every person needs to look for when trying to find the right center for their family member and that is quality. Here are 5 things that all quality rehab centers are found to have in common.

1. Accreditation –

This seems like a pretty basic tenant for those that are looking for a drug rehab center. Some people may be surprised to find the number of treatment facilities that are using programs that are not accredited or licensed in their particular state. Accreditation and licensure are the first aspects that should be investigated during the search for the right drug rehab centers. Using a rehab center that is not accredited can be a risk.

2. Results –

Relapse is commonly known to be a part of the recovery process. While that is true, great drug rehabilitation facilities will often get better results than their less skilled counterparts. Those on the hunt for the right facility may want to interview someone that has gone through their program to see how effective it is. It is also a good idea to try to get some statistics on the center to ascertain how effective it is. It is as simple. Great drug rehab centers get results. Look for those centers that have a lower rate of relapse and a high rate of recovery.

3. Aftercare –

Great drug rehab centers know that the recovery of drug and alcohol addiction is a lifelong process. A great drug treatment facility understands that the rehabilitation process does not stop when their patients leave the facility on the last day of the program. When searching for a great drug rehabilitation center, it is important to investigate their aftercare program to see if they are dedicated to their patients after they have left the facility. Recovering from drug addiction is a lifelong fight and great treatment facilities understand that.

4. Options –

Different patients require different types of care when they are in rehabilitation. This is why great centers provide their patients with options when it comes to their care. Some may require a short or long term inpatient treatment program and some may be more suited for an outpatient care program. A great rehab center will be able to diagnose what the best program is for their patients to ensure that they get the best results possible when it comes to their recovery from addiction. It is important to get opinions from multiple different facilities to ensure that the patient is placed in a program that is best suited for their needs when it comes to their recovery.

5. Lots of one on one therapy and family inclusion –

Group therapy is a valuable part of any recovery process. At the same time it is important that the patient get a lot of one on one time with a drug counselor to get the best results. It is also a good sign if the treatment center includes the family in the program as well. Family inclusion is important because the family may be the only support system that an addict has during recovery. They are the people that are most likely to help the person stay of drugs in their life. It also shows the family that you have nothing to hide when it comes to the process of treatment.

These are 5 indicators that a rehabilitation center is quality and will be effective when it comes to treating someone with drug or alcohol addiction. An accredited program with a great aftercare program that involves the family is always an ideal situation for an addict. Starting with these guidelines is the ideal way to find a drug treatment facility that is both quality and has a program that is designed to help a recovering addict in the most effective way possible.

Copyright (c) 2014 Complete Healthcare Solutions

Prescription Drug Abuse

When a prescription drug is used in quantities more than the recommended dosage or when not required, it is termed drug abuse. Painkillers, tranquilizers and anti-anxiety drugs are some of the most commonly abused prescription drugs.

Generally, patients take medicines as prescribed by their doctors. When taken this way, there is very little chance of the patient getting addicted. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), millions of people today use medications for non-medical purposes.

People try to justify drug abuse by convincing themselves that an overdose of prescription drugs is not as bad as street drugs such as heroin or ecstasy. The truth is that any kind of abuse is unwarranted. The problem with prescription drug abuse is that it starts with the consumption of a few extra pills for quick relief. The patient does not realize that abuse or addiction is likely.

If the doctor discontinues the prescription, an addict will seek out another doctor for a prescription of the same drug under false pretexts. Abusers use various methods to get a high. They even mix prescription drugs with alcohol, marijuana or any other similar drug. Drugs such as Ritalin and OxyContin are among the most abused drugs. Prescribing these drugs is carefully monitored and given only when urgently required.

To battle prescription drug abuse, medication directions must always be followed carefully. The physician must always be consulted regarding any change in dosage. It is not advisable to crush the tablets or take them with alcohol or any other intoxicating substance. Also, patients must never use someone else?s prescription, even if the symptoms are similar. The doctors should also exercise caution while prescribing drugs with any possibility of abuse. They must ask patients if they have any history of drug abuse.

Prescription drug abuse can be tackled with regular counseling. There is a lot of information on the Internet, and local physicians are always available for consultations.