Medicine has been used for centuries to help the body and mind heal. Healers used proper doses to cure stomach aches, animal bites, headaches, and other ailments that have plagued humans for centuries. Proper concoctions of natural materials can be credited for saving millions of lives.
If medicine is taken correctly, it can do the healing job that it was intended to do; if abused, it can cause more complications than the original ailment. While there remains a problem with teens abusing recreational drugs like heroin and marijuana, many teens are abusing the very drugs intended to heal them.
Sometimes teens may need a bit more medicine to help their problem, but parents should be aware of signs that may indicate that teens are abusing prescription medication or may be using someone else’s medication.
Many teens suffer from mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Many teens need proper medicinal help to get their body chemistry in sync so that they can enjoy everyday activities.
Signs Of Prescription Abuse
Proper use can quickly turn to abuse if the teens:
- Doubles their dose
- Finish their prescription before the next one is due
- Crush tablets to snort the powder to get more of the drug at one time
As the drug rapidly enters the bloodstream, its cumulative affect amplifies the intensity of the drug.
How Teens Can Easily Get Dangerous Prescription Drugs
It’s easy to acquire prescription or over the counter (OTC) drugs. If a child is already on ADHD medicine like Adderall or Ritalin, he or she has that drug in their reach. If not, chances are high that one of their friends or family members may have it or may have opioid pain relievers like Vicodin or OxyContin or have anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax.
Gone are the days when teens had to get their drugs out on the streets. Today, kids exchange drugs at parties, in the school hallways, and in their homes. Passing around pills has become all too easy.
Prescription and OTC drugs are legal. They can be taken by anyone anywhere and no one is asking questions. OTC drugs are even more easily abused, as no prescription needs to be presented to the pharmacy when they are purchased. Cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan are the most commonly abused OTC drugs.
How Substance Cravings Start In Teens And What To Do
Taking drugs can cause pleasurable sensations that could lead some teens into addiction. As dopamine responses increase in the brain, teens begin to crave that wonderful feeling. But, in addiction, that wonderful feeling becomes an obsession and cannot be quenched without more drugs.
If a teen seems to be abusing prescription or OTC medications, a mental health specialist can help them find their way back to use rather than abuse.
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