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Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse

One of the most disturbing trends of the last decade has been the increase in teen prescription drug abuse. Though statistics show a steady or even falling level of teen drug abuse of marijuana, cocaine and heroin, teens are abusing prescription drugs at higher and higher levels every year. Recently, in the first time ever, the youngest drug users were more likely to be using prescription drugs than marijuana or even alcohol – and drug rehab centers are seeing more and more cases as a result.

The Orchid Recovery Center for Women has been at the forefront in this shift in teen drug use and has developed unique and powerful programs that help young girls break the cycle of addiction to these dangerous medications. Through gender-specific treatment programs – and an environment of caring and support, The Orchid has become one of the finest Florida teen drug rehab centers in terms of treating teen prescription drug addiction.

There are several possible explanations for the rise in teen prescription drug abuse. The first is availability. Unlike other illegal drugs that have to be purchased from dealers, prescription drugs can often be found as near as the parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinet. For many teens, the drugs are given to them by their own physicians. Ritalin, for instance, a stimulant used for the treatment of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is frequently diverted for recreational purposes. Another reason for the popularity of teen prescription drug abuse is the predictability and purity of the drugs. Unlike street drugs that are of unknown provenance and purity, pills come from a reputable manufacturer and have a guarantee of effectiveness and purity that brand conscious teens are likely to respect.

Dangers of Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse

Whatever the reason, the abuse of these prescription drugs by teens is a serious health risk. Many of the most widely abused drugs, such as Vicodin and OxyContin are opiates. Not only are opiates extremely addictive, but they have dangerous side effects, such as depressing the breathing reflex. Users who take too many of these prescription drugs, especially in combination with other depressants such as alcohol and marijuana have serious risk of dying from lack of oxygen. Other risks come from the combination of other substances that these pills contain. Vicodin, for instance, contains acetomenephine in addition to the opiate pain-killer that inspires its use. This substance in large quantities has serious harmful consequences to the users’ liver.

The first sign that teens are becoming addicted to the prescription drugs that they abuse is a change in tolerance and dosage. For many of these drugs, tolerance develops quickly, forcing the user to take several, perhaps even dozens of the pills to get the same high that he or she once obtained with only a few pills. Other signs of an addiction are the physical symptoms of withdrawal. For addicted users, the cessation of prescription drugs will cause the same kind of physical and mental symptoms that heroin users experience during withdrawal.

Common prescription drug withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Trembling
  • Depression

Teens who develop an addition to prescription drugs should seek professional help for their problem as soon as possible. In addition to the health risks of prescription drug abuse, the use of these powerful drugs has the ability to harm the developing brain and body in ways that might cause severe and lasting damage to the teenager. What’s more, he or she will miss out on the sort of productive activities that lead to success and happiness later in life.

The Orchid understands the risks that teenage girls take when they abuse prescription drugs. Vicodin addiction, OxyContin addiction and Adderall addiction are just three of many drug dependencies that The Orchid helps treat through detox, counseling and after all. Above all else, The Orchid Recovery Center is a place to heal – a destination for young women to talk openly and honestly about their condition while gaining strength and support from the treatment staff and other recovering addicts. For more information, contact The Orchid today.

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