Prescription drugs are commonly prescribed to teens to help them deal with pain or concentrate on their schoolwork. While some teens can use drugs without consequences, many are unable to do so. If quitting on their own hasn’t been effective for your child, Destinations for Teens can help. But what happens when teens become addicted to prescription drugs? According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 33 percent of people 12 years of age or older who first used drugs in 2009 started by using a prescription drug for a non-medical reason. If your teen is abusing prescription drugs, it is time to invest in drug addiction treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription painkiller abuse has reached epidemic levels. More than 50 million people have used prescription drugs for a reason other than what they are medically prescribed for at least once in their lifetimes, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse. As adults, we must educate our teens not to continue to abuse drugs into adulthood.
Substance Use Treatment For Teens
Destinations for Teens is committed to providing treatment to help end teen prescription drug use. Destinations for Teens’ comprehensive addiction treatment programs are offered inpatient, outpatient, or virtual therapy programs for teens in need. We support our teens through individual counseling, group therapy, and a variety of therapeutic services. Learn commonly used prescription drugs, signs of prescription drug use, ways that teens become addicted, and how we can help your teen through our drug addiction treatment programs.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
Teen prescription drug use is popular for a variety of reasons. Teens who have previous substance use disorders such as drugs or alcohol are vulnerable to using prescription drugs. In addition, other teens fall prey to peer pressure and decide to experiment. The most commonly abused prescription medications include:
- Stimulants such as Ritalin and Adderall
- Central nervous system depressants such as Xanax and Valium
- Opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin
What’s more alarming about prescription drug use? Prescription drugs can be even more addictive than street drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
Signs of Teen Prescription Drug Abuse
If you suspect that your teen is abusing prescription drugs, there are a number of signs that will be present. Here are the most common indications of someone abusing prescription drugs:
- Lack of coordination
- Slurred speech
- Involuntary eye movement
- Problems concentrating
- Unclear thinking
- Memory loss
- Being uninhibited
Teens abusing prescription drugs need help and support in fighting their addiction. As part of the community, it is our responsibility to provide guidance and treatment that is empowering and will help them become strong adults. The best action we can ever take is not to ignore the signs of prescription drug abuse. Encouraging your teen to attend a residential rehab program could end up saving their life.
5 Common Ways Teen Drug Abuse Occurs
- Family: Many teenagers steal prescription medications right out of the medicine cabinet, stealing from family members. They believe these drugs are safer than using illegal drugs.
- Friends: One of the easiest ways for teenagers to access prescription drugs is through unsupervised social interactions. Some teens attend what is known as pharm parties. They bring stolen prescription drugs, place them in a bowl and begin experimenting.
- Healthcare Professionals: Often, a person’s addiction to prescription drugs begins with a legitimate medical condition. In time, they become addicted. When the primary care physician does not renew the prescription, the teen will seek medical care and prescriptions from different physicians. Known as doctor shopping, users will use multiple physicians and pharmacies, allowing them to abuse prescription drugs excessively.
- Pharmacy Theft: While not common, some with a strong addiction resort to stealing from an actual pharmacy. While some people participate in pharmacy theft by breaking in, other theft can occur behind the counter. There have been incidents when a pharmacist or attendant steals medication.
- Internet: In some cases, teenagers and adults feed their prescription drug addiction with a click of a computer mouse or phone call to an online pharmacy, which is frequently located overseas. These illegitimate pharmacies often will sell the medication without a prescription.
Drug Addiction Treatment for Teens at Destinations for Teens
Prescription medications provide important medical benefits. They help many people live more pain-free and productive lives. In addition, prescription medications provide support in navigating daily life from symptoms of medical conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression. Most physicians responsibly prescribe them. Further, the pharmacists who dispense them do so with the best intentions. However, prescription drugs’ widespread availability through a number of avenues makes them vulnerable. The ways addicts get prescription drugs may be shocking, but there are many more ways to prevent teens from long-term addiction. To learn more about prescription drug addiction and how Destinations for Teens can help, give us a call at 877.466.0620.