The Facts about Teen Prescription Drug Abuse
If you are a parent, you might be concerned that your teen son or daughter is abusing illegal drugs or alcohol. But many parents don't realize that one of the biggest dangers impacting teens and young adults today is the misuse of prescription drugs. Residential treatment programs throughout the country have seen an upswing in the number of teens who need help with prescription drug addictions.
According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan for the National Institute on Drug Abuse and published in December 2009, seven of the ten most commonly-abused drugs by teens are prescription or over-the-counter drugs. The medicines abused can range from cough syrup to powerful opiates such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. Teens who are addicted to prescription drugs need help at residential treatment facilities -- not only are these drugs addictive but abuse is a sign of deeper psychological issues.
One of the most disturbing aspects of prescription drug abuse is just how easy it is for teens to obtain pills and other forms of medicine. High schools, military academies and boys boarding schools around the country have had to deal with students ordering prescription drugs from the Internet, faking symptoms in order to get prescriptions filled and stockpiling drugs in order to "trade" them with other students.
Another issue with prescription drug abuse among teens is the common perception that they aren't as dangerous as other illicit substances such as cocaine or methamphetamines. Many teens make a clear distinction between the type of "drug addict" who is addicted to hard drugs and can benefit from Christian recovery programs and a student who uses "harmless" prescription drugs.
As a parent, it's important that you take an active role in keeping your teenager free of prescription drug abuse. Make sure any prescription drugs you take are securely stored where your children don't have access. If you suspect that your child is abusing prescription drugs, don't hesitate to act -- sit down with them and have a frank discussion about the dangers of prescription drugs. You may want to consider a drug treatment program if their issue is severe. If they are experimenting with prescription drugs, another alternative would be wilderness programs designed to give them the confidence and self-respect to avoid peer pressure.