Why are so many young people turning to prescription drugs to get high? By survey, almost 50% of teens believe that taking prescription drugs is much safer than using illegal street drugs. Prescription drug abuse is a major issue that does not seem to be moving towards a solution.
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The facts do state that prescription drugs can have dangerous short and long-term health consequences when used incorrectly or by someone other than they were intended for. Medicines are drugs that are intended to speed up or slow down or change something about the way your body is working, to try to make it work better. Sometimes they are necessary. But they are still drugs: they act as stimulants or sedatives, and too much can kill you. So if you do not use medicines as they are supposed to be used, they can be as dangerous as illegal drugs.
People take drugs because they want to change something in their lives. Here are some of the reasons young people have given for taking drugs: * To fit in * To escape or relax * To relieve boredom * To seem grown up * To rebel * To experiment Young people think drugs are a solution. But eventually the drugs become the problem. To some it may be difficult to face problems, the consequences of drug use are always worse than the problem a person is trying to solve with them. The real answer is to get the facts and not to take drugs in the first place.
Something that is not known by most young people is the risk they are taking by consuming these highly potent and mind altering drugs. Long term use of painkillers can lead to dependence, even for people who are prescribed them to relieve a medical condition but eventually get caught up in an addiction. In many cases, the dangers of painkillers don’t surface until it is too late. In 2007, abuse of the painkiller Fentanyl killed more than 1,000 people. The drug was found to be thirty to fifty times more powerful than heroin. Association, 2012) Prescription painkillers are powerful drugs that interfere with the nervous system’s transmission of the nerve signals we perceive as pain. Most painkillers also stimulate portions of the brain associated with pleasure. So, while blocking pain, they produce a high. The most powerful prescription painkillers are called opioids. They are manufactured to react on the nervous system in the same way as drugs made from the opium poppy, like heroin. The most commonly abused opioid painkillers include oxycodone- is the number one abused prescription drug and has the greatest dangers.
It is as powerful as heroin and affects the nervous system the same way, hydrocodone, meperidine, hydromorphone and propoxyphene. (htt2) According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, teens who abuse prescription drugs are twice as likely to use alcohol, five times more likely to use marijuana, and twelve to twenty times more likely to use illegal street drugs such as heroin, ecstasy and cocaine than teens who do not abuse prescription drugs. (Association, 2012)
What is our government doing to help? In 2011 the Obama Administration with the help of the National Drug Control Strategy came up with a prescription drug abuse prevention plan and is as follows. * Education. A crucial first step in tackling the problem of prescription drug abuse is to educate parents, youth, and patients about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, while requiring prescribers to receive education on the appropriate and safe use, and proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs. * Monitoring.
Implement prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in every state to reduce “doctor shopping” and diversion, and enhance PDMPs to make sure they can share data across states and are used by healthcare providers. * Proper Medication Disposal. Develop convenient and environmentally responsible prescription drug disposal programs to help decrease the supply of unused prescription drugs in the home. * Enforcement. Provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to eliminate improper prescribing practices and stop pill mills. (htt4)
Prescription drug addiction is a huge problem and appears to be growing. All people of life are affected by prescription drug abuse. Drug abuse in any form is a very serious issue and should be addressed as quickly as possible. http;//kidshealth. org/teen/drug_alcohol/drugs/prescription_drug_abuse. html http://www. theantidrug. com/drugabuse/prescription-drug-rx-abuse/default. aspx http://www. whitehouse. gov/ondcp/prescription-drug-abuse Association, A. p. (2012). School Librarian's Workshop, 32(4), 6
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