The numbers of kids smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and abusing illicit street drugs are all down across America, but every day, 2,500 teenagers use a prescription drug to get high for the first time. Unfortunately, far too many young people do not escape the life-threatening transition from “prescription party drugs" to full-blown prescription drug addiction.
If you're a parent of a teenager or a teen thinking of trying prescription drugs, you need to visit Not In My House, a great new website from the Partnership for a Drug Free America. The site reports that 12 to 17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than they abuse ecstasy, crack/cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined, and 60 percent of teens who have abused prescription painkillers did so before age 15.
In fact, the site reports, there are as many new abusers age 12 to 17 of prescription drugs as there are of marijuana. Most kids - and parents - don't realize that prescription drug addiction is every bit as likely, and as dangerous, as addiction to traditional street drugs like cocaine and heroin - and in many cases even more dangerous to withdraw from without medical drug detox.
And it's not just kids, more adults than ever are falling prey to painkillers, antidepressants, and a host of other prescription drugs these days. Thousands of people from all walks of life, many of them parents, arrive at drug detox centers across the country needing help with prescription drug addiction.
Not In My House describes how most kids get prescription painkillers and other dangerous drugs by simply looking in the bathroom medicine cabinet. The site outlines three simple steps - Monitor, Secure, and Dispose - that all parents should take to protect kids from getting hold of prescription drugs:
Monitor: regularly count and keep track of all prescriptions and OTC pills in the house.
Secure: Don't leave them out - lock them up or hide them.
Dispose: Get rid of outdated drugs no one is taking, and the site explains how to do this safely.
Most adults started their drug abuse as teenagers, and it's a scientific fact that people who start alcohol or drugs before they're 21 years old are 50 percent more likely to become substance abusers, and these days that very much includes prescription drug addiction. It's up to parents to take the initiative and talk to their kids. And the Not In My House site offers great videos and easy-to-read advice on how to do it effectively.
Prescription drug addiction is sweeping the country like a disease epidemic. If anyone in your family, of any age, is showing any signs of prescription drug addiction, dependency or abuse, get them into a medical drug detox program to help recover their lives.
Rod MacTaggart is a Florida-based freelance writer who contributes articles on health.