Teens Are Falling Victim To The Painkiller Epidemic

by Bridget on May 10, 2012

By now, everyone knows that out country faces an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse. Millions of Americans are falling victim to these types of drugs and developing terrible addictions. Yet, lost in all the commotion of pain killer addiction is the number of teens who are abusing these dangerous substances.

New Study

It is now known that 1 in every 8 teenagers has used prescriptions pain killers without a prescription from a medical practitioner. A recent survey of 7,400 students found that 13% admitted to using prescription drugs to self-medicate or get high. This is a staggering number of kids who are putting themselves at great risk of developing a serious addiction.

Prevalence

For the first time in history, the non-medical use of prescription drugs has surpassed all other drugs except for marijuana. Sometimes, teens are prescribed these pills for legitimate reasons, however, after they ailment is gone, they continue to use the drugs recreationally. This is how many young users become addicted. Once their brains start to get used to the pleasurable effects of prescription painkillers, they feel awful when they do not get to use.

Warning Signs

Prescription drug abuse is becoming disturbingly normal at schools around the country, as well. Many kids are sneaking these pills into their classrooms so that they can get high during class, without anyone knowing. Obviously, this is a terrible practice that needs to be monitored. There are many signs that you can watch out for to tell if someone is one prescription drugs. They will have dilated pupils, increased heart and respiratory rates, and sometimes exhibit restlessness or anxiety.

Fighting Back

There are a number of ways that we can curtail the number of teens who are abusing prescription drugs. First, we can teach parents and teachers about the warning signs and symptoms of individuals who are on such drugs. Next, we can begin to get into the habit of properly disposing of prescription drugs when we do not need them anymore. Once you feel as if you no longer need the medication that was correctly prescribed to you, do not just leave them laying around the house. Get rid of them. Finally, we need to educate children, from a young age, about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. By taking these easy steps, the number of teens who use and abuse prescription pain killers should reduce drastically.

Prescription painkiller addiction is a very serious problem that is affecting kids all over the country. In many cases, a young person may start taking the drugs recreationally with their friends for fun. However, this type of behavior can lead them down a very slippery slope towards addiction. It is incumbent upon all of us to keep our young people safe and educated. If they aren’t aware of the potential dangers associated with taking these drugs, the odds of the number of teens using is not likely to come down. In fact, it will probably continue to rise. Any teen suffering from an addiction should seek help at a teen addiction treatment program.

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