Over the past decade or so teen related prescription drug abuse has become an exponentially growing problem. Today many teens do not hang out in back alleys of bars and night clubs to purchase their illegal drugs because they are getting it over the counter or from their parent’s medicine cabinet in the form of painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin or drugs such as opioid which is similar to opium. Teens who are having relationship problems often opt for stimulants such as Ritalin and anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax and valium.
How teens get drugs?
While some teens who can no longer find these drugs at home go off to order them online others don’t seem to go this high tech as they can just buy it from someone who has a prescription. According to recent national surveys there are more teens abusing prescription drugs than those abusing illicit drugs like cocaine except for marijuana. Many teens believe that because the drugs they are abusing is made by a company, approved by the FDA and prescribed by doctors that it is safe. The result of this line of thinking often means that teens who would otherwise not touch illegal drugs would readily try these prescription drugs as they are readily available to them.
Teens abuse over the counter drugs
Now having determined that prescription drugs are harmful some teens who can’t get their hands on these drugs will often abuse over the counter drugs such as cold and cough remedies. These remedies often contain dextromethorphane or DXM as it’s called to suppress coughs in order to get a high. Products such as Robitussin, NyQuil and Coricidin etc. contain DXM. However DXM is not just available in these over the counter drugs they can also be found in anesthetic which can have some serious side effects. In a 2006 survey it was concluded that over 3.1 million Americans between the ages of 12 and 25 have used over the counter drugs such as cold medication to achieve a high. These figures are not only alarming but they are also steadily increasing.
Getting teens to treatment
Regardless of what teens are abusing i.e. cocktails, prescription drugs, or over the counter drugs they will need treatment to overcome this addiction before it reaches fatal proportions. The best way to work this out is for parents to talk with their teens about the dangers of these medicines as well as keeping all medication out of the reach of every child in their house. Parents also need to keep an accurate account of drugs that go missing. It is also important for parents of teen abusers to take their kids to the nearest rehab center so that they can be cured of their addiction.