The Risks of Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

If your teen is undergoing substance abuse treatment near Fort Lauderdale, you may be wondering what risks teen substance abuse can cause for your child. Rehab is one part of helping your teen or adolescent recover from addiction, but prescription drug abuse can cause long-term difficulties for your child and your family.

Side Effects

Improper use of prescription drugs can cause both short- and long-term health problems. Stimulant abuse can cause feelings of paranoia, increased body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Opioids, such as codeine and oxycodone, can cause nausea, constipation, and sleepiness, and higher doses can trigger breathing difficulties. Using any prescription painkillers or stimulants can lead to addiction, and abuse of these substances can affect one’s judgement and lead to an overdose and even death. If your teenager is combining different medications and substances to use recreationally, they are increasing their risk for health problems. For example, mixing prescription painkillers with alcohol can aggravate breathing problems and can even be lethal.

Sexual Activity

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that teens who abused prescription drugs were more likely to be sexually active, have multiple sexual partners, use alcohol or drugs before sex, and not use a condom than teenagers who didn’t use prescription drugs recreationally. This study examined more than 29,000 high schoolers, and approximately one out of every five students reported using prescription painkillers, sedatives, or stimulants recreationally.

Later Abuse

Other research has shown that a teenager who is prescribed prescription painkillers may be more likely to abuse opioids later in life. For these teenagers, those that have no experience with recreational drugs may be at greater risk because their prescription medication is their first exposure to an addictive substance. Researchers theorize that the relief a teen finds in the prescribed medication is pleasurable and done safely, and having a good initial experience with drugs is thought to be an important factor in developing drug abuse habits.

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