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Is Your Teen Abusing Pills?

Many parents have reached for a pill bottle only to realize their medication is missing. If you find an empty pill bottle in your child’s room, how do you confront them? Could it be a misunderstanding? Was it one of their friends? What is the best way to handle the situation? Destinations for Teens’ percocet addiction treatment program supports teens and families who have been torn apart by addictions such as prescription drug addiction. Contact us by calling 877.466.0620 to speak with an expert in teen addiction treatment.

How Do Teens Abuse Pills?

According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 18.4 percent of Americans ages twelve and up have intentionally misused prescription drugs. An estimated 20 percent of teens who have used prescription drugs have not received a medical prescription. This is dangerous because they can cause addiction and even overdose when misused. A few of the prescription drugs most commonly misused by teens include the following:

  • Percocet
  • Oxycodone
  • Vicodin
  • Adderall

The first step in helping your teen is to have an open dialogue about drug use. When teens are abusing any substance or participating in self-injurious behavior, it is a sign that an emotional concern needs to be explored. Take a strong interest in understanding your teen’s needs so that they will feel free to talk to you about anything impacting their lives.

Signs of Pill Abuse in Teens

The signs of prescription drug misuse should not be ignored. Instead, as parents or guardians, it is our responsibility to do the work to support our teens. A few common indicators that an adolescent is misusing prescription medication include the following:

  • Using unprescribed medications
  • Combining drugs or drinking alcohol
  • Taking someone else’s medication
  • Ignoring the prescribed dosage
  • Taking pills more often than prescribed
  • Dissolving and cooking pills in order to smoke them

We recommend that parents take time to learn about the social circles their children are involved with. When you know who your teen is spending time with, you will have the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with them and their friends. The purpose is twofold. First, you will have your finger on the pulse of what is happening in their lives. Second, you can reach out to parents if necessary.

Be Mindful of Behavior and Social Changes

As a parent, you have tremendous power to help stop addiction in its tracks. Being aware of behavioral abnormalities can be the first step in encouraging a person to get help. Additional signs that an adolescent you care about may be misusing prescription drugs include:

  • Trying to fool doctors
  • Purchasing drugs illegally on the internet
  • Stealing prescribed medicine
  • Having a tolerance to prescription drugs that is not easily satisfied
  • Changes in sleeping habits such as insomnia or oversleeping
  • Academic changes reflected on report cards
  • New, unfocused friends who abuse drugs or alcohol

Do your best to start a dialogue with your child if you notice behavior changes, signs of withdrawal, uncharacteristic aggression, or social withdrawal.

Learning to Manage Emotions Without Seeking Numbness

It is natural to feel scared when you know your teen is participating in behavior that could cause physical and emotional harm for years to come. At Destinations For Teens, we are committed to helping adolescents regulate emotions in order to cope and move forward. Learning to manage emotions without immediately searching for prescription medication might feel impossible; however, the possibilities are endless when a teen can self-regulate effectively. If an adolescent you care about is struggling with an addiction to prescription medication, contact Destinations for Teens by calling 877.466.0620 to learn about our remarkable, life-changing addiction treatment programs.