Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or a doctor’s supervision. Prescription drug abuse involves using a prescribed medication in a way that was not intended by the prescriber. It may involve borrowing a pain pill from a family member or crushing and snorting pills to get high. The abuse of certain prescription drugs is a serious health issue for teens and adults. Drug poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in the United States in 2008.
Consider these facts:
Some of the most abused prescription drugs include:
Other symptoms a person may be abusing a prescription drug:
What can parents do?
Sources: Partnership for a Drug Free America, 2006 Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey (PATS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Drug Poisoning Deaths in the United States, 1980-2008
United States, U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Drugs of Abuse 2015 Edition: A DEA Resource Guide.
All About Prescription Drugs (Medline Plus)
Drugs of Abuse, A DEA Resource Guide 2020 Edition
FDA – Combating Misuse and Abuse of Prescription Drugs
Getting High on Prescription Drugs and Over-the-Counter Drugs is Dangerous
How Your Prescription Medication Could Lead to Addiction
Medication Assisted Treatment: An e-book for Parents and Caregivers of Teens and Young Adults Addicted to Opioids (PDF)
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction: Facts for Families and Friends
Mind Matters: The Body’s Response to Prescription Stimulants
National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE)
Prescription Painkiller Overdoses
Talking with Your Child About Opioids (PDF)
Talking to Your Kids About Prescription Drug Abuse (PDF)
Tips for Teens – Opioids (PDF)
Tips for Teens – Stimulants (PDF)
Too Many Prescription Drugs can be Dangerous, Especially for Older Adults (PDF)