Not too long ago, my son was hurt in a car wreck, and as a prevention specialist, I was most interested in the prescriptions, specifically the type and amount of pain medications the doctor was prescribing. My son was prescribed a very large dose of pain meds, more than he needed.
As a parent, the practice made me think of inconceivable consequences — my child would never share medications or become addicted to prescription drugs. The potential for prescription drug abuse and addiction is ever-present.
Among teens and young adults, next to marijuana, prescription drugs are abused the most. According to the latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.8 million people were non-medical users of prescription medicines in 2012. Out of this number, 2.8 percent represent young people, aged 12-17. Data tells us that they’re abusing pain relievers, depressants and stimulants to go to sleep, wake up, stay alert or get high.
Parents need to remember that teens and young adults still believe that Rx medicines are safer to abuse than illegal drugs and easy to get, and approximately 2,000 teens misuse or abuse prescription drugs for the first time each day.