Prescription drug abuse in highschools
A frightening new trend in teenage drug abuse is covertly destroying the youth of America. Prescription drugs are readily available in the home, often belonging to a parent or sibling who is unaware that their prescriptions are being stolen.
Common misinformation leads many high school students to believe prescription drugs are safer than street drugs! The facts to the contrary are astounding; the non-medical use of prescription medications accounted for nearly 44% of all Emergency Department drug abuse mentions in 2002.
The negligence of doctors licensed to prescribe medications is also a huge factor in this dilemma; it is often easier work for them to simply write a prescription, rather than address any underlying emotional issues that may require lots of one on one therapy and time. Doctors need to be more aware of their patient’s medication taking habits, as well as advise parents to keep narcotic medications locked away in a secure place.
A shocking study from The National Institute of Health reports:
“Prescription drug use remains unacceptably high with virtually no drop in nonmedical use of most individual prescription drugs.
This year, for the first time, researchers pulled together data for all prescription drugs as a measurable group (including amphetamines, sedatives/barbiturates, tranquilizers, and opiates other than heroin such as Vicodin and OxyContin) and found that 15.4 percent of high school seniors reported non-medical use of at least one prescription medication within the past year.”
When you take a moment to consider the implications of this the results are staggering: In Los Angeles County alone (with 526,781 high school students) there are roughly 81,124 students that admit to abusing prescription drugs!
This epidemic is on the rise, and will continue its upward trend until both teens and parents realize the devastating effect these drugs can have.