Recent surveys have shown that nearly a quarter of high school students, an estimated five million United States teenagers, have abused prescription drugs. This is nearly one in four kids who has experimented with drugs in 2013, which is a significant rise of 33% from 2008. The surveys also found that many teens have tried Ritalin or Adderall that was not prescribed to them, and that around 20% of teenage prescription drug users have first experimented before the age of fourteen. Many of these kids, a noted 27% held the belief that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs. To make things worse, the parents who were also surveyed were almost just as ignorant about the dangers of prescription drugs, as many parents also held the misconception that prescription drugs are safer and even that drugs like Ritalin can help boost their childs performance in school, even when they are not diagnosed with ADHD. These results were found from a nationally representative poll that took place in 2012 by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation, and involved almost four thousand high school enrolled teens, and eight hundred parents.
What is going on with this drug problem is actually a serious public health crisis that is only getting worse. The biggest problem with the prescription drug abuse problem is that the kids and often times the parents are of the understanding that prescription drug abuse is a safer way to get high, and that they are safe compared to street drugs, and can be controlled. This is a major problem because this is only a misconception and prescription drugs are just as harmful, addictive, and dangerous as street drugs. This misconception has led many teens into believing (as well as their parents), that it is not a big deal, as the kids do not feel their parents would be upset to know about their abuse of prescription drugs. It seems that parents are more concerned with street drugs, and even 16% of parents believed that prescription drugs are less dangerous than street drugs. Twenty percent of parents have admitted to willfully giving their kids prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them.
These surveys have also found that these of all the drugs parents and their children discuss, they are mostly concerned with alcohol, marijuana, crack, and cocaine, with prescription drugs falling at the bottom of the list. The problem begins with being unaware of their dangers and making sure to discuss these things with your kids. When parents are unaware of the dangers of prescription drugs, their medicine cabinets are the repositories for the drugs with which teens are abusing. Parents must be more aware of the dangers of these drugs and make sure to control the supply of prescription drugs at home, to keep them out of the hands of young, impressionable kids. Parents need to take more responsible actions and make sure to keep their kids aware of the fact that prescription drugs are just as dangerous as abusing street drugs. Parents must create the boundaries for their children and need to express how upset they will be if their kids abuses any drugs. Parents can use drug testing kits, such as multi panel drug test, ua drug tests, instant oral drug tests, saliva drug tests, stat swab, oral cube drug tests, iScreen oral drug tests, and more to see if your kids are abusing prescription drugs or other illicit substances. Preventative measures are crucial steps in keeping your kids off drugs.