In the last few years, prescription pill misuse has made headlines across the country and around the world, as this method of substance abuse continues to grow in popularity. Though it is increasingly common among people of all ages, many have posited that some teens are embracing this practice because they have easy access to medication. There are more prescription pills in circulation now than ever before, and they are sitting innocently in family medicine cabinets everywhere.
Some people may also believe that taking these pills isn't as dangerous as other types of substance abuse because they have been prescribed by a doctor. And, according to a new study released by The Partnership at DrugFree.org, not all parents are explicitly addressing this misconception – in some cases because they don't know the perils themselves.
According to The Associated Press, the researchers surveyed nearly 4,000 American teens and 800 parents to learn more about their perception of drug use and how they discuss it at home. They found that just 14 percent of adolescent participants had spoken to their parents about prescription pill abuse in the last year. Meanwhile, about 16 percent of adult respondents said they thought medication was less dangerous than "street drugs" – and a larger segment agreed that certain pills intended to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder could improve the study habits of teens without the condition.
A quarter of the teenagers who took part in the research admitted to abusing some form or prescription medication in the last year, which is indicative of just how prevalent this practice has become. But, unless parents and adolescents come to understand the damage this misuse can cause – particularly if it leads to addiction – that number will continue to grow.
If you suspect that your teen is addicted to prescription pills, take action by calling a professional interventionist.