Kids and Prescription Drug Abuse
As the father of three young children, even though I am part of Malibu Beach Recovery Center, I wanted to commend the efforts of our colleagues at the Promises Treatment Centers who recently tried to increase awareness of the prescription pill abuse epidemic with LocktheCabinet, a public awareness campaign. The program was designed educate parents about the need to secure prescription pills at home.
A press release says that addiction usually starts in the teen years, when peer pressure runs high. It goes on to point out that many teens now believe that taking prescription medications to get high is safer than using illicit drugs because prescription medications are legal and provided by a doctor; however, abusing these drugs can be just as dangerous as using cocaine or heroin. Those who get hooked on opiate painkillers like OxyContin often start abusing heroin if they find it is easier a nd cheaper to obtain than the prescription medication.
The LocktheCabinet website has information about prescription drug abuse and how to recognize the signs of abuse, and also details how to properly dispose of unused medication. There’s also a Facebook page for parents to share information, make suggestions, and ask questions.
Kids who abuse pills have admitted stealing them from their houses. As the press release stated, a 2008 survey found that “1.9 million teens between the ages of 12 and 17 abused prescription medication, with 1.6 million abusing a prescription painkiller such as Vicodin or OxyContin.” And in many cases, parents unwittingly supplied them.