Here’s a scary stat: Every day in North America, over 8,000 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time. In fact, there’s been a 400 percent increase in teen prescription abuse in the past decade. And most got started before age 15 – some as young as 12 – by digging into the family medicine cabinet. Why? Because it was easier, cheaper, and – they thought - safer than visiting a drug dealer.
Most teens start with Oxycontin. It’s an opiate prescribed for chronic pain and is one of the most-abused prescription drugs available. It’s often prescribed after surgery – and you can be hooked in 2 weeks.
The truth is, drug addiction can happen to anyone. And studies show that many drug-addicted teens were athletes and A-students from stable families.
So, how can you protect your kids? Talk to them about the dangers of prescription meds. Studies show that teens who discuss the issue with an adult are far less likely to abuse drugs.
If you’d like to go further, check out the substance abuse website SAMHSA.gov.