I was reading an article today about the legal drinking age of 21 and how ever since it was raised from age 18 thirty years ago there has been an increase in the abuse of other drugs by teens and those under the age of 21.
In fact, Teen drug abuse with opioids is now second only to marijuana in popularity and today almost one in 10 high school seniors report taking hydrocodone (Vicodin) within the past year. And Among teens and people under the age of 30, Anti-anxiety drug abuse is the most common among abused drugs.
The Mayo Clinic describes Prescription drug abuse as: The use of a prescription medication in a way not intended by the prescribing doctor, such as for the feelings you get from the drug. Prescription drug abuse or problematic use includes everything from taking a friend’s prescription painkiller for your backache to snorting or injecting ground-up pills to get high.
what I find most interesting or perhaps most distressing is that these new “most commonly abused drugs” are not illegal drugs but rather what is commonly called prescription medication…meaning that a doctor’s prescription is needed in order to legally obtain them. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 48 million people are using prescription drugs for non medical reasons. That’s just about 20% of the entire U.S. population! And of course this increase has led to a corresponding increase in ER visits because of accidental overdoses as well as admissions to drug treatment programs for drug addictions.
But if the most abused drugs like, Xanax, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Ritalin, Adderall and Ambien can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription presented to and filled by a Pharmacist, then how does everyone get their hands on so many of these drugs? Especially when you need access to quite a few of these pills to develop an addiction in the first place.
Isn’t this a case of prescription addiction/abuse before it’s a case of drug addiction/abuse?