Parents are aware of the dangers of heavy drug use among kids. Cocaine, heroin, meth and designer drugs such as bath salts are becoming increasingly popular with perilous consequences. But what they may not know is that teens can find all they need to get high without stepping out of the house to see a drug dealer. A study finds that painkiller abuse by kids is way up–in fact, it is forty percent higher than in previous generations, making it the most popular illicit drug after marijuana.
Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics
The study gathered information from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between the years of 1985 and 2009, and what they found was astounding.
• Between 2004 and 2009 there was a 129% increase in pill-related visits to the Emergency Room.
• In the decade leading up to 2007, there was a 500% increase in the number of people seeking treatment for prescription opioid abuse.
• Accidental prescription drug overdoses between the 1990’s and 2007 increased three times.
• Prescription medication now kills more people than heroin and cocaine combined.
The word in school is that prescription drugs are safer than illicit drugs because after all, doctors prescribe them and parents use them all the time. The truth, however, is that these drugs are just as bad as heroin when they’re abused.
The Truth About Prescription Opioids
An opioid is a derivative of opiate, which comes from the opium poppy plant. Among the original opioids are opium and morphine. Heroin was developed soon after and was initially a legal painkiller. Now it is an illicit drug but pain medication like oxycodone and codeine follow in its footsteps.
Opioid abuse can also start inadvertently, following an injury or dental surgery. In fact, many of the products out there can cause dependence after just days of use. The patient may notice himself feeling ill if he stops taking it, experiencing flu or cold symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, dizziness, insomnia, and aches and pains. These symptoms abate after returning to the drug. In this way, opioids grab hold of the user until he is consumed by a full-blown addiction.
Prescription medication is also sold at school and online. Addicts often find that heroin is cheaper but produces the same high, so they sell their medication and end up with a syringe instead.
Some of the most popular pills among American youth are Oxycontin, Vicodin, Valium, Percocet, Demerol and methadone. Over-the-counter products are also popular; especially cough syrup, as it contains codeine. Consumed in large amounts, it produces euphoria but many unwanted side effects, including death.
A great deal of information on drugs is available over the Internet, which increases the potential of even the most unlikely teen to end up addicted to painkillers. Not only is digital peer pressure a growing problem, there are drug forums and a tremendous amount of drug promotion online.
With painkiller abuse way up and the latest information from the news study there are some solutions. The first is to prevent teen drug abuse through education and prevention. This should be done in schools as well as by parents. In fact parents who speak to their kids about drugs have children who are 40% less likely to try them in the first place.
The other solution is through drug rehabilitation for those addicted. If an abuse problem occurs it can be resolved with treatment, because, if done in a long term setting it gets results. For more information or to find a Narconon facility contact us today.