Teen Abuse of Anxiety Meds Growing
The rising abuse of prescription drugs has been a growing concern, because of its rapid growth and rising number of fatalities over the past decade. But most of these overdoses seem to have involved painkillers that people grow addicted to when prescribed for chronic pain.
However, another concern that has been growing is for teenagers who abuse prescription drugs. Since most teenagers are too young to have to deal with symptoms of chronic pain, the abuse of prescription drugs often comes in the forms of anxiety meds. Teens who suffer from severe anxiety can unfortunately develop another problem when becoming addicted to medications meant to deal with their anxiety.
Treating Teen Angst
Teenagers seem more stressed out than ever, or perhaps teens now have access to medications that they didn’t have before. But with the stressors of grades, extra-curricular activities, social anxiety, and self-image teens have begun having reoccurring issues with prescription drugs.
There was an emphasis in the media on abuse of drugs like Adderall that is medically prescribed for ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), but was being abused by students to be able to do better in school. It was reportedly also being used to help people stay slim. But now the emphasis has been shifted to the abuse of drugs prescribed for sleep disorders and anxiety.
The number of teens who have been prescribed these drugs has dramatically risen, and as a result more and more teens are starting to have problems with dependencies. Some of the drugs that are being abused are:
Surprising Source Of Abuse
Another reason why the abuse has been growing is the insidious way it’s spread in dangerous and illegal ways. While the perception of illegal drug dealing is that there are drug dealers who distribute the drugs for money, the reality is that when it comes to drugs like Xanax that are distributed to people for anxiety, other teenagers obtain the drug illegally by getting it from other teenagers or family members.
Sharing drug supplies is one of the most dangerous ways that teens are developing addictions to these prescription drugs. They may initially take the meds to deal with anxiety and stress, but end up liking the way it makes them feel to the point where they obtain the drugs through illegal means.
More Education About The Topic Needed
Some of the dangerous side effects includes dangerous driving that can put teenagers and other people at risk. Teens might not realize by taking these prescribed drugs they can be driving in an impaired state, and the most dangerous part of the meds is when teens take them illegally and mix them with alcohol or other addictive substances.
This is when a teenager could do serious harm to oneself. However, there isn’t enough education about this topic, and many teens might not even realize the dangers of mixing meds and taking illegal amounts.
By doing so, they can be driving in an impaired state, and continually seeking the drugs more and more to capture the feelings that the drugs give them. However, teens have been notably responsive to other types of drug education programs that teach them about the dangers of alcohol and illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin.
This shows that teens will respond well to education if given the opportunity and that overall teen drug consumption has declined. Because of the great rise in teens who have been receiving prescription medications for anxiety and sleep issues, there needs to also be a rise in educational initiatives to teach teens about the dangers. They need to learn that sharing pills and taking them in illegal quantities can result in a long-term addiction that is hard to overcome.