Category Archives: Prescription Drug Abuse
You’re hanging out with your friends at your house, and your parents are gone. You’re bored. You guys wanna do something kinda different and fun, a little rebellious. You can’t get any alcohol because you aren’t 21, and you don’t know anyone who is that would buy you some. Weed is pretty hard to get a hold of if you don’t know any dealers. But, you could always go through your parents medicine cabinet… There’s definitely something in there that can get you high.
That’s how easy it is, and that’s why so many teens take prescription drugs.
Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else and/or uses it for something other than what the doctor intended it for. So, like taking pills that are supposed to be for your mom, or taking Adderall to help you get through a late night study session.
After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older. Teens get it from friends and relatives, and most of the time they steal it.
A lot of people use prescription drugs to get high because they believe them to be safer than street drugs. They figure that if doctors give them to people, they must not be bad and do any harm. But the reality is that they are VERY DANGEROUS if taken in the wrong way. When doctors prescribe medicine, they consider all kinds of things like how healthy the person is, their height and weight, how old they are, how much they should take, how often they should take it, what other health issues the person may have, and all kinds of things. You can’t just take a random amount of some random medicine and expect that to be okay for your body.
So what exactly are the effects of taking prescription drugs?
- Difficulty breathing
- High body temperature
- Fast heartbeat
- Slurred speech
- Shallow breathing
- Lack of coordination
- Changes in your mood, perceptions, and behavior
People also take prescription drugs to commit suicide. So, it’s pretty scary that if you take it to get high, you could accidentally take too much and it could kill you.
There are different types of prescription drugs that teens take for different reasons. Opiois, like Vicodin and Oxycontin, are painkillers. Depressants, like Valium and Xanax, are used to help you sleep or relieve anxiety. Stimulants, like Adderall or Ritalin, help people with ADHD focus. Or, you could take any of these to feel high. People even take too much cough and cold medicine to get high.
Think about it. Taking these drugs is so, so scary. You really don’t know what it could do to you… it’s so easy to overdose with these. Also, it’s illegal. Do you really want to throw your future away and get in trouble with the law? Just for a “high” feeling that won’t even last that long? Is it really worth it?
These drugs are also super addicting. People don’t think they’re as addicting as street drugs, but they are.
If you’re taking prescription drugs, you need to stop. You might even need to get help. If you or a friend have a problem with prescription drug abuse, tell a trusted adult like a parent, teacher, coach, or counselor. You can also called 1-800-662-HELP or 1-888-4-AL-ANON, and they’ll tell you what steps to take to get over your addiction. Take action and make a change before it’s too late.
Even though you are young now doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take care of yourself until you are older. More often than not you will find an older adult say that if they hadn’t done such and such at a young age they would be much better now. This is actually very true and should be thought about. Taking care of yourself isn’t just a fad, it is a lifelong decision and even though you may not be able to see the reasons right now, you will later in life.
For instance, eating healthy now and regularly exercising will help you not need hip replacements when you are in your 60s. Just look at that old lady who bleaches her hair, tans constantly, and smokes…what does she look like now? She has thinning hair, leathery skin, and has smoker’s lung. Do you want to look like that someday, too? If something seems harmless now can give you cancer eventually, then even small, positive changes can have a drastic effect.
Youth Outreach does not promote anything that is illegal, but, before you light up, pay for that tanning pass, take that shot of alcohol, or snort crack, think about what you are doing to the future you. If you still don’t believe me, start making those small decisions in your life, for the positive of course, and see the big results you get.
There are so many things that you can get addicted to these days. Some you have to worry about more than others, such as using prescription drugs whether they are over the counter or prescribed by your healthcare provider. Prescription drugs are very helpful for pain or certain bodily dysfunctions, but can easily be abused. If you are concerned that someone you know or you are addicted to prescription drugs, then follow the steps below or check out this link to get more information.
If you feel you are addicted:
1) Call 800.662.HELP (4357) to find a treatment center
2) Talk to your doctor right away
3) Talk to a friend or family member who will help support you that you trust
4) Find a support group
If you are a parent and you think your child is abusing prescription drugs:
1) Talk to your child and ask them point-blank
2) Look for signs and symptoms of drug use
3) Look for risk factors, such as family addiction or friends that use
4) If they are using drugs, get them in a support group or a treatment center
Also know that addiction isn’t about your willpower or a moral failure. It is actually a disease and some people are more vulnerable to it, meaning that they have a genetic disposition that makes them more likely to become addicted to something than someone who doesn’t have that genetic makeup.
Don’t ever take a tablet of anything unless you know what it is and if it is prescribed to you. There are many side effects to different drugs and if you take something offered to you it may counteract other prescriptions or vitamins you are on and negatively affect you. In addition, don’t ever combine prescription drugs and alcohol because it decreases your heart rate and breathing and could cause death.
It seems that many teens these days are waiting to get their driver’s license until well after 16. The general cause of this may be due to the age limit of a required drivers ed course, which has many benefits to it. In all honestly it doesn’t matter when you decide to get your license, but what does matter is that you are a safe driver.
Here are some general tips to safe driving. If you want more information or a more detailed explanation, use this link!
Take a drivers ed course. I know that the general idea of taking this type of class outside of school can seem boring or you may think you all there is to know about driving on the road, but consider the benefits. For one, this will prepare you entirely for driving anywhere. Did you know that “For each mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are about four times more likely than other drivers to crash!” To get more statistics, the risks, and the costs of unsafe teen driving, click on this link. Not only this, but by taking this class (which is easy to do over summer!) you are eligible for a lower insurance rate. This is most helpful to anyone who is making car insurance payments.
Don’t text and drive. It is so common these days for kids to be on their cell phones, which doesn’t stop even when they are driving. Be sure to not use your cell phone, unless you have a hands free device, because it does cause more accidents.
Eliminate distractions! Use of your cell phone can also be put under this tip, but also keep in mind that friends, music, and even the buttons in the car used for general functions can all be a distraction. The risk of being in a car accident increases when you have distractions. Thus, it is important to decrease them as much as possible, especially when driving conditions (i.e., rain, snow, higher than normal wind speeds, heavy traffic, etc.) are not ideal.
Don’t drive while you are tired or inhibited by substance such as alcohol, prescription drugs, or other illegal drugs. Many driving disasters happen when anyone, not just teens, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Decrease your chances of getting a ticket, going to jail, or killing someone or yourself by choosing not to use these types of substances.
Of course, it is also helpful to drive as often as possible with a parent or guardian who has had plenty of driving experience and can help with decreasing distractions as well as give pointers. If you would like information on more tips or information on driving classes click on this link. And one last thing…buckle up!