substance abuse treatment

Teen Drug Use Down but Overdoses are Up

Teen Drug UseWhen you pick up prescription drugs from your local pharmacy you will likely see a few different stickers on the side of the bottles. One such sticker may warn about operating machinery or driving while you take a particular medication. If you happen to see this sticker you need to lock that medication up and keep the key away from others. Why? Children today are trying drugs younger, starting at 12 or 13 years old. And guess what, the kids are getting their drugs from you.

Teens are looking for these pills with the warning stickers and they are getting high on them. The more warnings, the more they like them. This is the message that is being sent to parents by Robert Stutman, a retired federal drug enforcement agent. He said, “No one is immune. If you don’t think your children are abusing drugs, look for signs like excessive talking, rapid or slurred speech or forgetfulness.”

Teens can get drugs from pretty much anywhere

A study indicated that 71 percent of graduating seniors said “schools are drug infested. If that’s happening in high school, what about college? Some 51 percent of college students binge drink and use drugs at least once a month.” 2,500 college students a day are taken to an ER because of alcohol use on campus.

While it is true that overall teen drug use is down but drug overdose has quadrupled and drug addiction has doubled and the age of first use is younger. The younger a child starts experimenting, the more likely they are to use. Kids are abusing inhalants like Pam cooking spray, ingesting mushrooms, sharing their ADHD medication, and taking the pills with the warning sticker’s right out of the medicine cabinet.

Stutman warns parents, “We are in the middle of the worst drug epidemic, far worse than heroin or crack because the source of supply is your own medicine chests and prescriptions written by well-meaning physicians. Some 87 people die a day from gun violence, and 105 from drug overdose, yet where is the outrage?”

About the Reviewer: Chris Barnes

Chris BarnesChristopher Barnes has worked in health care for over thirty years. He is a graduate of Alabama State University where he earned a double Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Work and Psychology in 1982. Christopher Barnes is currently the Director of Clinical services at The Discovery House where he has been employed for the past five years. Because of his extensive experience in health care & substance abuse he has an excellent rapport with constituents, clients, and other professional organizations in the counseling/social service community.

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