The Facts On Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is sweeping the nation. It affects people from all walks of life and this epidemic is growing. 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, teens make up a great portion of this number.

In fact, 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 doctors prescribe them. This may be a reason why kids 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.

Abuse of Prescription Drugs May Lead to Heroin Use

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 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. This may seem a bit radical for a teen to become involved in, but it is a very real possibility in the future if he stays down this road.

Why Teens Make Up Such A Large Percentage

Kids are often confronted by many challenges during their teenage years. 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. By talking with your teens about these topics and keeping them busy with extracurricular activities, they may pass on the drugs for a more promising future.

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.

Understanding The Complexities of Drug Rehab Centers

If you’ve considered entering a drug rehab center to deal with your addiction, you may be wondering if it’s worth taking this step. The answer is a definite “yes!” Drug abuse affects multiple areas of life including the physical, psychological, and emotional. You’re not going to be able to address all these areas on your own, and you can benefit from even a short term in a drug rehab facility.

Physical Benefits Of Drug Rehab Centers

If you are physically dependent on drugs, giving them up is going to cause withdrawal symptoms. One of the first areas to focus on during rehab is physically detoxing from these drugs. By choosing a certified medical rehab center instead of trying to quit on your own, you have a decreased chance of relapsing or overdosing. Also, you are protected in this environment against unforseen complications. The medical professionals at these centers can help to ease the symptoms and make sure that you get to a healthier body as quickly as possible.

One of the main reasons to consider a rehab center is the success rates that result in where you decide to continue your treatment. Individuals who try to give up on their own have a very low success rate. Even with the help and support of friends and family, their physical addiction is too much for them to handle and they are not able to recover fully. While rehab centers do not have complete success in all cases, they have significantly improved results in people who complete their programs. The physical environment and medical expertise in drug recovery simply cannot be experienced anywhere else.

Psychological Benefits Of Drug Rehab Centers

As we know, addiction isn’t just about the physical cravings, it also changes your state of mind. Inpatient rehab offers a wide range of psychological therapies that are designed to address your history of drug abuse as well as your present state of transitioning into abstinence and helping you to build a future of recovery. Each rehab will offer different therapy options because each person needs a different type of style of treatment. In some cases, you may be struggling with other psychological disorders like anxiety or depression as well, which can also be addressed in a rehab center.

What many people also don’t realize about drugs is that they change the way that the mind works. When you’re recovering from drugs, you may notice that you’re not able to think as clearly or have difficulty in some areas of life. The psychological experts at rehab centers can help you work through these problems, recommend strategies, and help get you on the path to psychological wellness. The mind can heal and grow, especially with professional help, so even chronic drug users can find themselves improved mentally with treatment.

Emotional Benefits Of Drug Rehab Centers

While some people prefer to characterize this part of drug rehab as either mental or spiritual depending on the direction of the treatment, the emotional healing that can occur during treatment should not be overlooked. Though physical addiction is primarily important an psychological disorders are as well, the emotional safety and general peace of mind that you get in these centers is crucial to the continuing success of the overall treatment.

Remember that while you are enrolled in a rehab center, you get to take a step away from the normal stresses of life. You don’t have to worry about bills, work, past events, children, or spouses during this period. For the time that you’re enrolled in a treatment program, you have a buffer between yourself and the world, allowing you to give your full attention to your recovery. This is one of the main reasons why drug rehab is successful, when it covers all of these areas effectively.

If you’re wondering how to get over your addiction and start building a healthier lifestyle, consider a treatment center for drug rehab. The trained staff at these centers are sympathetic and skilled in their areas and help thousands of people every year rebuild their lives. These drug rehab centers are designed with you in mind, so don’t get lost in the system and instead take this opportunity to focus on your health.