Are Kids Abusing Prescription Drugs More Than Alcohol and Street Drugs?

In the past, one of the first things parents had to worry about as their children began to grow up was the use of tobacco products, marijuana or alcohol.  Times may be changing, but not for the better.

The increase in the abuse of prescription drugs has become an epidemic in this country for adults and unfortunately, the trend is now beginning to reach children as well.

Studies are beginning to show that children are starting to abuse prescription drugs before they start using the traditional drugs of alcohol and tobacco, etc.

The Coalition for a Drug-free Greater Cincinnati recently completed a study that back up this startling news.  They surveyed more than 55,000 students from more than 100 different schools in 2011.  The students were in grades 7 – 12 and were all from the greater Cincinnati area.

They found that students are reporting that the first time usage of prescription drugs (that are not for their own medical needs) occurs around 12.9 years of age, before their first usage of other drugs.

Why Is This Happening?

This increase in the abuse of prescription medication is likely due to the same reasons adults abuse them.  As mentioned, the abuse of prescription drugs has already become an epidemic and children likely see their parents with a lax attitude about prescription drugs.

Many people have the mistaken belief that just because something was prescribed by a doctor, that means it is safe.  They don’t worry about the negative impact and the possibility of becoming addicted because the doctor gave them the drugs.

However, most doctors don’t do a good job of educating their patients on the dangers of prescription drugs.

How to Avoid It

If you have been given prescription drugs that can become addictive, talk to your doctor about them.  Find out if there are alternatives that are non-addictive.  If there are no alternatives available, ask for the lowest possible dose of the medication and take it for the shortest possible time.

Developing these types of habits will be a benefit to you because your likelihood of becoming addicted to these drugs will be greatly diminished.  However, you will also be doing a tremendous thing for your children.

When you tell your children how you want them to behave, but then do the opposite thing yourself, your message is diluted.  Your actions have a much bigger impact than your words.

By taking the proper attitude toward your own prescription medication, it will allow your children to actually see the type of behavior you are talking about.

It is also important that you take care of the medications you have.  If they can’t be locked up, keep close track of them so that if a few pills are missing, you will know it.

Don’t allow your careless attitude toward prescription drugs make it a temptation for your children.

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