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Understanding Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

by James Heller 6. November 2009 13:22
There are several reasons that teens engage in prescription drug abuse.  The obvious one is peer pressure.  But while peer pressure has great influence where adolescent prescription drug abuse is concerned, it is less effective when parents take positive action.  Action starts with knowledge, and parents should know that boredom and a low-risk perception are also reasons for use.

We all know that the mind of a teen is in constant input mode and output is often abrupt and random.  They are always looking for something to do, consciously or sup-consciously.  So, for many, drug abuse is an escape from that turmoil.  If teens are encouraged to be involved in positive activities boredom has less time to set in.

Most teens will not turn to alcohol or drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin because they understand the risks that come from alcohol abuse and drug abuse.  But many of those same teens report in surveys that they see little or no risk in using prescription drugs recreationally.  Parents need to educate the youth of our society about the truth.

There is no guarantee that talking to your teens will prevent them from prescription drug abuse.  But if they don’t hear about the risks, they will only have peer pressure as input.  Remember that every little thing you say plants a seed that will grow with their experiences.  And most teens that see risks with alcohol and illegal drugs will make the risk connection in their minds.

Lassen County News posted an article about the teen prescription drug abuse problem in their California County.  The excerpt below offers tips for parents to identify when teens are using prescription drugs.  The full article link follows the excerpt.

-- Begin external content --

Signs parents should look for
Goodridge provided signs parents should look for to help determine if their child might be having a reaction to prescription drugs.

He said if a teen is awake when they are supposed to be sleeping or sleeping when they should be awake, that could be a side effect of a prescription drug.

If a teen comes home looking pale, clammy and has shallow breathing, parents need to call 911.

Opioids can depress breathing, but if a person has combined the drugs with medication such as Xanax, Avidan or alcohol, it can make the symptoms worse, Goodridge said.

Parents should also be watchful if their child is withdrawing from activities they normally enjoy, or if all at once the friends they hang out with have a sudden change in behavior, then Goodridge said parents need to start asking questions. The changes might not even be drug-related, but something is probably going on, he said.

-- Source: http://www.lassennews.com/News_Story.edi?sid=5894&mode=thread&order=0

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment with prescription drug detox as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare.  If you or a loved one has a problem with prescription drugs, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.