Friday, July 1, 2011

Most Abused Prescription Drugs Abuse by Teens

Painkillers (OxyContin and its generic form oxycodone, Lortab, Vicodin, Percodan, Percocet and the Fentanyl Patch) are the most common pharmaceuticals abused by teens, especially by younger teens. Stimulants (Ritalin, Adderall) abuse is more common among older teens and college students than younger teens. Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, Klonopin) are abused by teens of all ages.

Oxies, OC, hillbilly heroin, oxycotton, 80s, percs, vikes, and vikings are commonly used terms to refer to painkillers. Ritz, rippers, dexies, and bennies are commonly used terms to refer to stimulants. Benzos, xanies, xani-bars, xani-bombs, and roofies are commonly used terms to refer to benzodiazepines.

Everyone understands that heroin is a dangerous drug and many people die from heroin overdoses. What parent would not be horrified if their children took heroin? However, if your children are taking these narcotic painkillers, they are taking drugs that mimic the effects of heroin in the body.

Everyone also understands that cocaine is a dangerous drug. What parent wants their children to use cocaine? However, many parents watch their children take Ritalin and Adderall, two heavy stimulants that are Schedule II drugs-just like cocaine. In 2006, it is estimated that three out of 10 high school seniors abuse prescription stimulants.

Stimulant side effects include dilated pupils, increased heart and respiratory rates, elevated blood pressure, feelings of restlessness, anxiety, and delusions, hostility and aggression, and panic, suicidal, or homicidal tendencies. Overdose or death is preceded by high fever, convulsions, and heart failure which may be hastened by physical activity.

Benzodiazepines can cause dilated pupils and slurred speech, feelings of intoxication, loss of motor coordination, respiratory depression, sensory alteration, depression and lowered blood pressure. In younger children these side effects are multiplied and can lead to seizures and, if not immediately addressed, death.

Since antidepressants (Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Lexapro) are prescribed now for everything from weight loss to muscle pain, they are in many medicine cabinets and are left lying on bedside tables. As we discussed last week, there is now evidence that these drugs are no more effective than a placebo (sugar pill) and that they are linked to 52% of the suicides by women in Sweden in2006. The FDA has ordered suicide and violence warnings placed on the antidepressant boxes if these dangerous drugs are taken by teenagers because these violent side effects are even more prevalent in younger people.

The danger to teens from all of these prescription drugs is greatly increased when they are combined with each other or with alcohol.

No caring parent would leave heroin, cocaine or other dangerous street drugs on their nightstand or in the medicine cabinet or just dump it in the garbage. However, many parents do exactly this with legal heroin, legal cocaine: antidepressants and benzodiazepines.

Addiction Treatment for Teens: 1-888-757-6237 Addiction Treatment for adults and young adults: 1-888-387-6237

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