College Kids Abusing Prescriptions is Recipe for Danger

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Prescription drug abuse is a serious national problem and a 2008 college health survey reveals that young people are dangerously unaware of the risks entailed. Many think that because the drugs came from a pharmacy, were prescribed by a physician and taken by mom – they are somehow safe.

The truth is that these drugs can have serious, even life-threatening side effects when taken for non-medical reasons.

The 2008 survey found that a bit more than 10 percent of university kids abuse prescription medications. The young people who were taking the drugs also reported feeling seriously depressed and even suicidal in some cases.

This isn’t surprising since many prescription drugs, like the hugely popular prescription painkillers, can produce depressive side effects.

According to an online news report covering the study, college kids who abuse prescriptions are not necessarily looking to get high. Many are attempting to self-medicate in order to handle stress and worry. Girls seemed to struggle with this more than boys, but that college kids are turning to medications in order to escape is a troubling scenario.

The college years are packed with challenges and discovery. They are tumultuous years of transition for nearly everyone. Young people need to feel empowered to face the changes ahead of them.

More studies are certainly called for, but to be effective, they take time. In the meanwhile, consider reaching out to a college student no matter how remotely connected to you they seem. Take them to lunch or just out for coffee. Lend them your ear. Stay in touch with them.

Intergenerational connections can provide a sense of stability during a period of inundation. Make it easier for someone to reach for the phone than to reach for a pill.

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