Drug Abuse Grows Across the Map

The abuse and misuse of drugs, both legal and illegal, affects us all in one way or another.
In the United States, we are facing an epidemic of drug use like never before.  This abuse goes across race, gender, socioeconomic status, and even age.
Simply put, with the economy in the state that it is in and the increase in crime and violence – people are looking for an escape.  Most users who slip into addiction began drug use as a form of recreation but eventually find themselves in the same situation: hoping for an escape to the addiction.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (aka NIDA) states that in 2009, over 16 million Americans used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons starting as early as the age of 12.
The availability of drugs is growing rapidly.  Particularly alarming is the rapid increase in the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin. Because of this  addiction trend there has been in increase in robberies of pharmacies. The incident of pharmacy robberies has changed the way that pharmacies conduct business.
For all of the above reasons (and more),  parents need to be aware of their children’s activities and social groups, as well as the risks kids face these days when they consider using a narcotic painkiller. It is truly an epidemic in teens (and tweens) today.

Drugs of Choice for Teens and Advice to Parents

The  substances that teens most commonly use are:
  • marijuana
  • prescription drugs
  • ecstasy
  • inhalants
  • cocaine
  • heroin
One  problem is that teens don’t think that these drugs are all that harmful or serious – particularly the prescription drugs.  Teens also may think that since their parents’ generation glorified using these drugs and survived, they can’t be  all that bad.
Mental Health professionals will typically agree that parents should focus on prevention through communication. Parents need to talk more about drugs with their children. The children need to be warned about the severity of these substances and the potential consequences.
With an increasing amount of time and effort being spent on drug abuse education, hopefully these trends won’t continue on into the next generations.