Parent Tips on Teen Prescription Drug Abuse
This new generation of teens has been given the name “Generation Rx”, because of their abuse of prescription drugs. Most teen prescription drug abuse begins at home with the child raiding a parent or grandparent’s medicine cabinet. Substance abuse among teens is rapidly escalating and for the first time, national studies show that today’s teens are more likely to have abused a prescription painkiller than any illegal drug. The following are some warning signs and risk factors for teens abusing prescription or other drugs:
- There’s a family history of substance or alcohol abuse.
• They are experiencing depression.
• They have a poor self-image.
• They feel like they don’t fit in and are not popular with the mainstream.
• Frequently they feel sluggish and/or have difficulty sleeping.
• They’re often aggressive and rebellious toward authority figures.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs
OPIOIDS (OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet) are prescribed for moderate to severe physical pain, abused for their euphoric, sedating, and numbing effects. Street names for OxyContin are: Oxy, O.C., Vicodin: Vikes, Vikings,
DEPRESSANTS (Xanax, Valium, Librium) are drugs that are prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders,abused
for their sedating properties. Street names for depressants are: candy, downers, sleeping pills, tranks, V (Valium), barb, barbies, blue devils, blue dolls, M&M, lib (Librium).
STIMULANTS (Ritalin, Dexedrine, Meridia, Adderall) are prescribed to treat ADD/ADHD and other conditions such as asthma, abused for their energizing and euphoric effects. Street names are: bennies, black beauties, crosses, hearts, LA turnaround, speed, truck drivers, uppers, beans, Vitamin R (Ritalin), robin’s egg.
DXM (Cough and Cold Medicines) Several over-the-counter cough and cold medicines contain the ingredient dextromethorphan. Taken in large quantities, these over-the-counter medicines can cause hallucinations, loss of motor control, and “out-of-body” sensations. Street names are: triple C, candy, C-C-C, dex, DM, drex, red devils, robo, rojo, skittles, tussin, velvet, vitamin D.
OTHERS which are abused are, Seroquel, an anti-psychotic drug, used for bi-polar disorder and as a sleep aid. Street names: Quell,Susie Q. Rohypnol is a prescription anti-anxiety medication that is 10 times more powerful than Valium. Street names: roofies, roach, roach-2, roapies, forget-me pill, date rape drug, Reynolds, R-2.
For an extensive list of drug street names, go to: www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/streetterms/
If your son or daughter were to give another child prescription drugs and that child overdoses, it is highly likely that you could be held liable, especially if the drugs came from your home. A civil suit could be filed against you for negligence, resulting in financial damages. There is also a chance that you could face criminal prosecution for leaving dangerous drugs around that could lead to the death or harm of another.
Prescription drugs and teens can be a deadly mix. You’re advised to:
- Lock up prescription drugs in a cabinet or safe.
- If not locked up, monitor quantities of prescription drugs.
- Properly conceal and dispose of old or unused medicines in the trash.
- Talk to your teen and warn them of the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline-This 24-hour hotline provides information on alcohol and drug abuse, with a staff of trained counselors and referral service for local treatment options.