It’s been happening for many years, study after study has shown that prescription drugs continue to be misused and abused at increasing rates among nearly all age levels. A recent attitude tracking study from The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife showed that it has increased more than 30 percent among teens in the past five years.
About one-quarter of teens said they had misused or abused a prescription drug, which is up from about 18 percent a few years prior. The three main categories continue to be painkillers, sedatives or tranquilizers and stimulants. The study showed that about one-eighth of the teens had taken Adderall or Ritalin that was not prescribed to them.
While more awareness efforts have been made to educate young people on the dangers of prescription drugs, more than a fourth of them still believe that they are safer than street drugs. Of the teens who had taken prescription drugs non-medically, one-fifth of them did so by the age of 14.
As with many drugs that have a high potential for abuse, continued use can lead to dependence and addiction. A strong focus on education efforts at young ages is crucial for prevention, and the responsibility is shared across many areas of society. Doctors, pharmacists, drug companies and media all have a role to play in addition to parents and schools.
Left undetected or unaddressed, prescription drug addiction can be just as devastating as street drug addiction. Sometimes interventions for prescription drug abuse or addiction can be more difficult though, as there people have used the fact that it comes from a doctor as a reason to continue taking the drug. Our staff are experts in all types of interventions and have successfully dealt with prescription drug addiction cases repeatedly over the years. Call us today if you have any questions or would like intervention assistance.