The problem of drug and alcohol abuse has always been an issue for college campuses. Freshly out from under the constant surveillance of parents, many kids decide to do whatever comes their way. Unfortunately, without parents there to advise them, many take the prescription medications prescribed to their roommates and friends with little understanding about how it can affect them and what the risks are.
At Ohio State University, the College of Pharmacy got together with the Cardinal Health Foundation to create “Generation ℞ University,” an online resource that offers information to college students in an effort to help them avoid the abuse of prescription medications.
Ken Hale is an assistant dean for OSU’s College of Pharmacy. He said in a news release, “The average age when prescription drug abuse starts is around 21. It’s critical that our colleges and universities do more to help prevent this potentially deadly behavior, and this new toolkit is designed to help them do that.”
The Myths That Drive Teen Prescription Drug Abuse
There are a number of commonly held misconceptions among teens about prescription drugs that the university hopes to dispel through its new online tool. Among them are:
- “Prescription drugs are safer than street drugs.” Actually, prescription medications can be extremely dangerous and just as deadly as heroin, cocaine, and other street drugs.
- “It’s okay to take someone else’s prescription as long as I don’t take too much.” Any use of a medication that is not prescribed directly to the user is termed “non-medical” use and is an abuse of prescription drugs. It is also extremely dangerous because the user has no idea how the drugs will affect them.
- “Prescription drugs are non-addictive.” Wrong. Prescription painkillers like OxyContin and stimulant drugs like Adderall are extremely addictive.
- “It’s okay to take a painkiller for a headache or a sedative to reduce stress from time to time.” Again, any use of a drug not prescribed to the user is dangerous. It may negatively interact with other medications, underlying or unknown health conditions or other substances in the body, and cause acute and chronic health problems or overdose.
Helping Your Teen Overcome Prescription Drug Dependence
Whether your son first began taking prescription medications through a prescription given to him by a doctor or experimentally, you can help him regain control of his life through treatment. Contact us at Muir Wood today to learn more about our teen-centered rehabilitation program for boys here in Northern California.