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You may have heard some families are locking their medicine cabinet in their homes, and you may think that seems a bit ridiculous. If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, parents it’s time to clean out your medicine cabinets and lock prescription opioid painkillers away. Teen prescription drug abuse is becoming a serious problem in the United States today. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America: 1 in 5 teens has abused prescription pain medication. Adolescents are abusing these “safe” physician prescribed drugs more than heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine. The White House Office of Nation Drug Control Policy has said that: Every day, 2,500 kids aged 12-17 abuse a prescription painkiller for the first time and more people are getting addicted to prescription drug abuse. Parents are supplying the drugs without even realizing it.
Potential dangers of prescription drugs
Prescription drugs are just as dangerous as the hardcore “street drugs”. The easy availability of prescription drugs have led to an increase of teens becoming addicted. These drugs can become very dangerous when combined with other drugs and can lead to harmful and fatal drug overdoses. Many teens are unaware of the potency of these prescribed medications and will most likely take random pills from different bottles. Many teens combine them because their parents are less likely to notice if one of two pills from several different prescription bottles are missing as opposed to many pills from the same prescription bottle.
Which prescription drugs are teens misusing?
Emergency rooms are seeing more teens coming in due to accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Some of the more commonly abused prescription drugs include prescription painkillers like Vicodin, Tramadol, and OxyContin/Percodan. Other stimulants like medication for ADHD such as Ritalin, Vyvanse, or Adderall, and anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax and Valium (diazepam) can be abused. Many other types of prescription drugs are abused as well, including diet pills, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, muscle relaxers like Baclofen, and sleep aids like Lunesta, Trazodone, or Triazolam.
Other prescription drugs commonly found in medicine cabinets that pose a risk for teens include:
- Flexeril, Amrix, Fexmid (cyclobenzaprine)
- Luminal (pentobarbital)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
How to prevent teen drug abuse
As a loving parent you must take action in helping prevent your loved one or teenager from prescription drug abuse. One of the first places you can start is by making sure that all medications are monitored are stored in a locked cabinet. There may be situations that are out of your control and your teenagers friend may come looking into your medicine cabinet but ensuring the lock is set up, can prevent pills from going missing.
Get help for an addicted loved one
Nova Recovery Center provides affordable, customized drug and alcohol rehab in Austin to individuals in any stage of addiction. We also help our clients enroll in Austin sober living programs if they choose to do so after rehab. Whether you or a loved one is seeking help for the first time or struggling with recovery after repeated attempts, we will provide you with the insights, life skills and tools you need to commit to a new path leading to lifelong sobriety. Contact Nova Recovery Center today at (512) 605-2955 for more information about our Austin recovery center.