PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE
Psychoactive medications (mind-altering pills like prescription stimulants or sedatives) pose risks for unwanted side effects, addiction included. But that’s not a new story. What is new is that a recent study just found that when these drugs are prescribed to young people, one out of three youths will inevitably misuse them.
It’s important to make sure that teens and young adults have the best shot at a healthy, happy life. A big part of that means making sure they don’t experiment with drugs and alcohol. But when overdoses are on the rise, parents should implement new strategies to keep their sons and daughters safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, more than eleven million, five-hundred thousand people misused opioid prescription pain reliever medications in 2016.
In some ways, it’s the toughest environment ever in which to raise children. Sure, there were more deadly diseases before antibiotics and clean water. But in earlier times, there weren’t as many ways to lose your children to drugs or alcohol.
It seems like a small thing, just letters from a county coroner to 388 California medical doctors, telling them that one of their patients died from a prescription drug overdose. But this simple step subsequently reduced the number of opioid prescriptions handed out by these doctors. Overcoming our opioid epidemic is going to take many of these small steps.
It is no mystery to anyone that the use and abuse of painkiller drugs, for self-medicative or recreational reasons, is an extremely unhealthy choice. This is no mystery to us.
The United States is the land of the free, the home of the brave, where all men, women, and children are treated equally. Yet, when it comes to substance abuse and the nation’s 21st-century drug addiction epidemic, it would not seem that equality is the keynote of the crisis.
Since the turn of the century, drug abuse and alcoholism have more or less reduced amongst young adult, teen, and adolescent age demographics. This is something to be proud of, as the 1980s and 1990s saw some of the worst substance abuse habits amongst young people.
The average American would be horrified to think of his hard-earned money, his tax dollars supporting anything as insidious and destructive as the current epidemic of opioid use and overdose.
You might think the great farms in America’s heartlands are the last places that drug addiction or overdose deaths would be problems. A recent survey of rural communities proves that even these areas have been infiltrated.