Teens and parents often minimize the dangers of adolescent prescription drug abuse. Your son or daughter may think the drugs are completely safe because they were prescribed for them by a doctor. As a parent, you may be less concerned than you would be if your child were using marijuana, meth, heroin or cocaine.
But prescription drugs are responsible for more overdose deaths than illegal street drugs, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control. More people misuse prescription drugs than cocaine, meth and heroin combined, another study found. And prescription drugs can also be very addictive – psychological dependence can develop in a matter of days, and physical dependence can take hold within a month.
Almost 15 percent of high school seniors said they had misused prescription drugs in the past year, according to a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Teens are often prescribed opiates or other drugs to manage pain after a surgery or injury, then continue to take the drugs even after they are no longer needed. Teens are also likely to use prescription drugs that were intended for someone else – a friend or someone in their family. Nearly one-third of teenage users said they found the drugs in their own home that were prescribed for someone else.
Overall, prescription drug abuse is a growing problem. A recent report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse Roughly found that 18 million people misused their prescription drugs at least once in the past 12 months. Prescription drugs that are most often misused include painkillers (3.3 million users), tranquilizers (2 million users), stimulants (1.7 million users) and sedatives (.5 million users).
Depressants that are frequently abused include Ambien, Valium, and Xanax. The most abused opioid pain relievers include the drugs Percocet, Oxycontin, and Norco. Stimulants that are often abused include Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall XR, Dexedrine, and Mydayis.
If your teen continues to abuse prescription drugs over a period of time, their addiction grows stronger and the related health problems also become more severe. Depending on the type of drugs they are using, they are at risk for both short- and long-term negative effects on their physical and mental health.
Overdose, of course, is the most dangerous result of teenage prescription drug abuse. Reasons for an overdose may include:
There are other risks to your teen’s mental and physical health, as well. Stimulants can cause dangerously high body temperatures, heart problems and high blood pressure. Opioid misuse can cause low blood pressure, a slowed breathing rate or a coma. And sedatives and anti-anxiety medications can cause low blood pressure, memory problems and slowed breathing.
We employ the best-known treatments and therapies to help your teen beat their prescription drug addiction, beginning with an addiction treatment plan that is tailored specifically for your son or daughter. We assess their physical and mental health and their history of prescription drug use to ensure that the teen drug rehab programs we include in their recovery plan are ideal for their unique situation.
At Safe Landing’s and secure facility, your teen participates in a variety of therapy sessions such as cognitive behavioral therapy, multimodal therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, and more. We help them change their harmful, negative behaviors and provide them with the means to cope with stress and their substance abuse triggers. Our team is dedicated to helping them beat their addiction to prescription drugs and achieving long-term sobriety.