Young people are at especially high risk of prescription drug abuse. Locking up your prescription medications can help keep teens safe.
Opioid overdose prevention programs (OOPPs) are organized, community-centered efforts designed to decrease the chances that people who abuse opioid narcotic drugs or medications will die of an overdose. These programs have gained increasing popularity across the U.S., partly in response to the fairly common abuse of prescription opioids and rising rates for heroin use. In a study review published in June 2014 in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, researchers from the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine used a large-scale analysis to assess the effectiveness of OOPPs in preventing narcotics overdoses. These researchers concluded that opioid overdose prevention programs typically work well when their members receive proper training.
The use of prescription opioids for recreational purposes or for other non-medical reasons has grown over the past two decades. Among teenagers, there are many who mistakenly believe that prescription drugs offer a safer high than street drugs, and opioids have become popular communal offerings at parties. The drugs, often obtained from a forgotten pill bottle in a medicine cabinet at home, are just as dangerous as street drugs.
According to health officials, between five and 11 percent of American kids have the condition attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder – ADHD. Now, a study performed by the prestigious American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that children who are diagnosed with the condition are at substantially greater risk of substance abuse.
Most people are familiar with the proverb, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” A recent study from researchers seeking to prevent teen drug abuse points out that some prevention programs are measurably better than others, and prevention is cheaper than cures.
Most Americans are all too familiar with the brand names of powerful prescription painkillers. Drugs like Percocet, Dilaudid, OxyContin and Vicodin are so well known that patients frequently ask for them by name. Many patients facing discomfort will do whatever it takes and consume whatever they can get in order to avoid more pain. Our nation constitutes just five percent of the world’s population, yet we consume 80 percent of all opioids.
The eighth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, held Saturday, April 26, was a resounding success, according to reports coming in from across the U.S. Nationwide, 6,072 collection sites participated in the event, resulting in truckloads of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs being taken off the streets – and out of the hands of children and those bent on using them nonmedically. In total, 780,158 pounds, or 390 tons, of pills were collected and sent for disposal by incineration.
The American prescription abuse epidemic affects all age groups but has perhaps hit teens the worst. More than 2,000 teens try abusing prescription drugs for the first time every day, and a large percentage of them quickly develop an addiction. Unfortunately, these drugs are just as dangerous as many illegal street drugs when not taken as directed. Unlike street drugs, however, prescription drugs are available legally through a doctor and may be present in any home. In fact, the majority of teens get their prescription drug fix from family and friends.
The misuse of prescription drugs has become a popular trend among American teens. Many begin using because they assume that prescription medications are a safer way to get high when compared with street drugs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pushing for new labeling on prescription drugs. Of particular concern to the FDA are painkilling prescription medications with extended time release formulas. The proposal comes on the heels of numerous deaths and near-death overdoses related to these powerful medications. In 2010, more than 16,000 people died from an overdose of a prescription opioid.
Prescription drug misuse is considered to be a major health concern. The abuse of painkillers and other drugs can result in severe reactions, some even resulting in death. Among teenagers, the use of prescription drugs to get high is changing the nature of drug use in high schools. While parents of the current teen generation may conjure up images of shady characters lingering in a dark stairwell at school, the typical experience is not so black and white.