Pain Killer Addiction
Pain Killer Abuse
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Painkiller Abuse Amongst Teens
Painkiller abuse amongst teens is on the rise, half of all teens use an illegal substance while in high school, and painkillers are currently one of the most popular drugs to abuse. Read this article to find out more about painkiller abuse amongst teens.
Painkillers are second only to marijuana in the number of teens who abuse them. Twenty percent, or 1 in 5 students, admits to abusing painkillers, and the number of users in increasing at an alarming rate. In 3 years, 40% more teens started abusing painkillers. Over 2 million teens use prescription drugs illegally. About 2,500 young people start abusing painkillers every day, some of them in middle school or younger.
These drugs have many street names, but some of them are:
What are the effects of painkiller abuse amongst teens?
These painkillers are opioids, which are very addictive. Teens who try to quit using opioids often relapse. Teens often crush these drugs and snort them, which may deliver up to 12 hours worth of the drug at one time. This can be fatal, even the first time a teen tries it.
Painkillers may give a temporary high, but they also have dangerous side effects:
Signs of a potentially fatal painkiller overdose include:
Painkiller abuse amongst teens also has other consequences. Painkillers can sell for as much as $80 per pill, so teens may sell their belongings or steal to get the drug. Once they are addicted they will often do whatever is necessary to get painkillers to avoid the painful symptoms of withdrawal.
Painkillers are similar to heroin, which is much cheaper, so some teens move from painkiller abuse to heroin use.
How to help teens who may be abusing painkillers
Parents should teach their teens about the dangers of painkiller abuse and ask teens if they or their friends abuse painkillers. Parents should keep track of their own prescriptions and ask other family members and guests, such as grandparents, to do the same.
Many teens use painkillers to deal with stress or other problems, so parents should talk to their kids about problems in their lives and get them help from a counselor if they need to learn better ways to deal with their problems.
If teens are addicted to painkillers, they will need medical help to get through withdrawal, followed by counseling and support to avoid relapsing into using the drug. Parents should be loving and supportive of their teens going through this process, and try not to place blame for their teenís painkiller addiction.
MSNBC Health, "Teen drug use drops as painkiller abuse rises" [online]
SAMHSA Family Guide, "A Prescription for Danger - Use of Painkillers on the Rise" [online]
Parents. The Anti-Drug. "Prescription Drug Abuse" [online]
Partnership for a Drug-Free America [online]