Why Do Teens Use Prescription Drugs?

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Teens Abuse Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs are a major issue in today’s society. They are the second most abused category of drugs in the United States, next to marijuana (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2011). Many teens do not understand the consequences of abusing these drugs. They believe there is nothing wrong with using prescription drugs and also that they are not addictive. Most teens who abuse prescription drugs are found to be white females in their late teen years (Twombly & Holtz, 2008). Although prescription drug abuse has become more popular in the last few years, it is definitely not a new problem. Abuse of prescription medications has been a problem since the very beginning of their production, with
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These numbers are horrifying. Many teens may not understand how serious abusing these medications may actually be to their health. Many teenagers think because doctors prescribe them legally, there is not a huge issue with taking them. They say they are safer than the illegal drugs (Phillips, 2013). Mendelson, Flower, Pletcher and Galloway (2008) go on to say that “every year since 1999, more than 2 million adults started abusing opioids in the U.S.” In 1999 there were 4,000 reported deaths from overdose of prescription drugs. In 2008, this number nearly tripled to 15,000. These deaths from overdose of prescription drugs were also significantly greater than the overdose deaths of heroin and cocaine combined (Phillips,…show more content…
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According to the ONDCP (2011), the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2011was introduced by Obama and includes action in four major areas. The first area they talk about is education, which they say it is very crucial to educate parents, youth, and patients about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs. Also to educate on the programs offered to safely dispose of any unused prescription drugs, as well as how to safely use the drugs, and proper storage of the drugs. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) developed an online educational campaign to discourage abuse of prescription drugs among teens called “PEERx” (NIDA for Teens, 2015). The website has various sources available to teens, teen leaders, educators, and counselors to encourage discussion about the importance of this issue. There are also other free resources that teens can use to become educated about prescription drug abuse. This is used as a great prevention tool for
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