Prescription Drug Abuse among Adolescents: Considerations and Legal ImplicationsPerhaps you just discovered that your teenager abuses prescription drugs. Your teen took them from the medicine cabinet or swiped your bottle of prescription pain pills from your purse.Maybe you are a teenager wondering what the big deal is since prescription drugs are prescribed by a doctor. After all, since a doctor prescribed the drug, it is safe, right? Not so fast.When a doctor prescribes a medication, it is prescribed for that specific person to treat a specific medical condition. Doctors do not just start scribbling the name of some prescription drug on a prescription pad or send it to a pharmacy off the top of their head.
The Factors for Prescription PillsSeveral factors go in to each prescription that a doctor prescribes. The dose of a prescription drug often varies from one person to the next, due to factors such as why the drug is prescribed and potential side effects.The dosage for one person is not necessarily the correct dose for someone else. When a person other than the patient takes the drug, dangerous side effects can occur, up to and including death. This is especially true when the prescription drug is abused, even if the overdose is accidental.
Prescription Drugs Are Illicit If Not PrescribedYou may wonder if you can get into legal trouble for the prescription drugs that you steal from your parents or that your friends regularly share with you. Prescription drugs are not illegal, you assume, since doctors prescribe them every day. Yes, but if you are taking medications not prescribed for you or if you are sharing them with others, it is indeed against the law.The federal government and states are fighting prescription drug abuse with regulations at both federal and state levels (Blake 2013), so it is commendable that you are seeking help for your prescription drug abuse or reaching out to help your loved one now.
Treating Adolescent Prescription Drug AbuseAbuse of prescription drugs among adolescents is on the rise, so you are not alone in your addiction or dependency on them. Whether you, your child or friend abuses prescription drugs, you do not have to hide the abuse or assume that no one will understand.There is not a one-size-fits-all solution for adolescent prescription drug abuse. The right treatment program for your friend is not necessarily the ideal solution for you. Your individualized prescription drug abuse treatment will guide you or your loved one along the path to sobriety. Treating adolescent prescription drug abuse is a recovery, educational and healing process for the entire family.If you are the parent of a teen addicted to prescription drugs it is imperative that you are involved in the treatment process. The ideal treatment programs use a variety of proven treatment modalities, based not only on treating the prescription drug addiction, but on treating the entire person and helping the entire family heal.
- Blake, V., Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse with Federal and State Law, American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, (2013 May), Retrieved from http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/2013/05/hlaw1-1305.html
- Drug Facts: Prescription Drugs, NIDA for Teens, (2015, March 6 – last updated), Retrieved from http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-drugs
- Prescription Drug Abuse, KidsHealth, (2014, April – Date Reviewed) Retrieved from http://kidshealth.org/teen/drug_alcohol/drugs/prescription_drug_abuse.html#
- Prescription Drug Abuse, Office of National Drug Control Policy, (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/prescription-drug-abuse
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