Most parents are on the lookout for signs of drug addiction in their teens. The influence is becoming more and more widespread, especially with the far-reaching fingers of the Internet. But while parents may be keeping a diligent eye on their children’s social media and watching for signs of illicit drug use, teens are opting for a simpler method to get high in their own home–the medicine cabinet.
In fact, contrary to popular belief, the Home’s medicine cabinet is the likely candidate for teen drug abuse.
An Unlikely High
A parent may not buy a bottle of cough syrup and consider that he might need to place it in a locked cabinet. Yet that is what many parents are having to do when they discover that their kids are abusing Dextromethorphan (DXM), the main ingredient in cough syrup. Large amounts of DXM are used to get high, but they can have other, less desirable consequences such as unintentional poisoning, seizures, addiction and overdose.
Other substances commonly abused are Oxycontin (also known as Oxy or Hillbilly Heroin on the street), Percocet, morphine, Vicodin and Valium. Teens smuggle them into school and soon learn that they rake in money. A lot of kids addicted to prescription opioids often end up on heroin when they discover that it is cheaper but produces the same high.
Over-the-counter medicine seems to be more popular, however, because it is cheap and easy to get. Students can pick up a bottle of cough syrup from their local convenience store on a lunch break and get high in the bathroom during class. Also, it doesn’t draw as much attention. Kids can even help themselves to a bottle of cough syrup in plain view of adults and all they will think is that the child must be feeling unwell.
Higher Use In Males
A recent study at the University of Cincinnati revealed that adolescent males have a higher percentage of long-term over-the-counter (OTC) abuse than their female peers.
In fact, 54,000 Junior High and High Schoolers across Greater Cincinnati were examined, and it was found that ten percent of those involved in the study reported OTC abuse. The majority of these were boys.
The study also revealed that those who were busy with extra-curricular activities such as sports or the arts were far less likely to turn to drug abuse. Those who were often home alone were more inclined to experiment with drugs or alcohol, and a lot of them learned about OTC abuse through friends at parties or over the Internet.
The Solution To Medicine Cabinet Abuse
Addiction experts urge parents to stay in communication with their children on the topic of drugs and alcohol use. It is far easier to prevent drug addiction than it is to rehabilitate someone who is in the grips of it.
Make a point of talking to your child every day, and try to help with difficulties he might be having in his social or academic life. Problems like this often lead to drug abuse, as well. Educate your teen on the dangers of these drugs, their side effects and potential for addiction. Make sure that their school does the same through drug education and prevention.
If you do notice that there is an abuse problem do something about it. Get your loved one into treatment immediately that will help to permanently resolve the issues related to substance abuse and addiction. For more information or to get in touch with our Narconon centers in Florida or other locations call us today.