Prescription Drug Abuse

Submitted By spagatterace
Words: 707
Pages: 3

“The average age for first time drug use is 13 ½ years old,” according to an article in the Boston Globe, “Parents Clueless About Kid’s Prescription Drug Abuse, State Survey Finds”.(2011) This is a shocking statistic. Children are often educated through schools, parents and media on the risks of drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamines and other popularized substances. However, prescription drugs are commonly left unnoticed. “Parents are often providing prescription drugs to their kids in an improper and dangerous manner,” said Steve Pasierb (2011), president and CEO of the The Partnership at “More than ¼ of parents reported taking prescription drugs not prescribed to them. Also, nearly 1/3 of all homes have unused prescription medications not being thrown away because they believe there may be a need for them in the future.” With prescription drugs so easily accessible to teens, experimentation with drug use is made easier. Many teenagers share these drugs, not knowing the risks, with friends. “In Massachusetts,” according to Pasierb (2011), “more people die from fatal overdoses of prescription drugs than from car accidents. An average of 12 state residents dies each week from overdoses associated with opiod pain killers.” The first step in decreasing these alarming statistics can be done in the home. Parents and Grandparents need to take several precautions when keeping prescriptions in the home. Locking up medications and alcohol will deter the average teenager. It is also important to educate children early on the risks of prescription drugs. Ch. 10 in the text describes drug use among teenagers.(Berger, 2011) Cognitive immaturity (Ch 9), hormonal urges and the enjoyment of doing something forbidden is often what attracts adolescents to drug experimentation. The change in moods and bodily sensations creates an illusion of self-control and excitement. For teenagers, their bodies and brains push them toward the seduction of physical thrills. Prescription drugs are easily obtainable. The legalities associated with prescription drugs are another enticing reinforcement. These are drugs that are legal and children see their parents taking them. In the United States, “10% of high school seniors reported using Vicodin and 5% have used OxyContin.” (p.375) Initial drug use can lead to future use with the possibility of addiction. Experimentation with easily obtained drugs often begins as occasional use among friends and harbors the belief that this use is not harmful. Addiction may present itself without intention. Car accidents, unsafe sex and parasuicide are also associated with such experimentation. Both the text and the article present a common yet over-looked factor in American teenage drug use. As a teenager, I can remember the first time my friends and I experimented with drugs.