When many people think about drug abuse and addiction, it’s the traditional street drugs like heroin and cocaine that often come to mind. However, another epidemic has emerged: prescription pill abuse. Although these pills and medications may be helpful when used in the right context, they can be bought and sold, and then used, for dangerous reasons. Kids, unfortunately, are at risk for these potentially fatal pills.
The Scale of the Prescription Pill Abuse Epidemic
Although headlines in the news certainly give much-needed attention to the rampant abuse of prescription pills in the United States, it’s necessary to understand the tremendous scale of this epidemic. In this country alone, more than 52 million people have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime. In the last month alone, more than six million individuals have done so.
The United States is home to approximately 5% of the world’s population. However, that population uses more than 75% of the world’s prescription drugs. The most common types of prescription drugs abused in the country are painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants.
Where Kids and Teens are Getting Prescription Drugs
Shockingly, access to prescription drugs is incredibly convenient. This is true even for children and teens who want to experiment with prescription drugs themselves or pass them on to friends or for profit.
More than 54% of prescription pill abuse takes place with no cost to the abuser. The pills themselves are obtained at no cost from friends or family, or they are stolen from medicine cabinets. This means that even children and teens with little or no income can access dangerous prescription pills.
Why Prescription Pills are Tempting to Young People
The abuse of prescription pills may appeal to young people in part because of their availability. Since prescription pills are found in virtually every home medicine cabinet, they don’t require a lot of money or energy to locate them. As addiction develops, of course, users will go to greater lengths to secure their pills of choice.
Another reason that prescription pills are so widely used is that they seem less dangerous than traditional street drugs. Of course, when used non-medically, prescription pills are just as dangerous, addictive or even fatal.
Rehab is Vital for Recovery From Prescription Pill Abuse
Whether it’s a child, a teen or an adult abusing prescription pills, rehab is necessary for recovery. The right tools, strategies, coping mechanisms and counseling can pave the way to a clean, sober and fulfilling life free from drugs.
To break free from prescription pill abuse, Rock Recovery Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, can help. Call 888-322-7389 for more information on rehab options, recovery methods and how you or your child can regain lasting sobriety.