Prescription drug abuse is a serious matter affecting more Americans each year. It is estimated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that 54 million Americans abuse prescription drugs each year, with a large portion of that number being adolescents and first-time users. Also, prescription drug overdoses account for more than half of all drug-related incidents in emergency rooms.
Teens and adolescents are especially at risk for prescription drug abuse and their demographic represents the most cases of prescription misuse nationwide. One of the leading factors contributing to adolescent prescription drug abuse is general unawareness of the dangers associated with it as well as the potential for addiction.
Many teens and adolescents assume that because doctors prescribe these medications, they are in some way safer or less addictive than alcohol, cigarettes or street drugs. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as it is well documented that prescription drug addiction is a very real threat, and also contribute to hundreds of thousands of drug overdoses per year.
As a parent or loved one of a possible at-risk adolescent, it is important to inform yourself of the most prolific prescription drugs that are currently being abused by today’s youth. Ensuring these medications do not end up in the wrong hands, even by mistake is essential to hopefully preventing and avoiding the continuation of prescription drug abuse in the future. In this article we have identified some of the most popular medications that are commonly abused, and some side effects that they cause, as to bring about awareness to the dangers they pose.