There are plenty of studies out there to show that drug and alcohol abuse in teenagers is falling but the drugs that are prescribed and are being abused remain the same. It’s a trend that is concerning, but there are plenty of myths out there about prescription drug use.
Unfortunately, until those myths are cleared up, prescription drug use is still going to be a factor for many teenagers. With this in mind, here are the most common misconceptions about prescription drug use.
Doctors will avoid prescribing anything that can lead to addiction. This is a pretty common myth, doctors will always have the best interest of their patients at heart, but there are lots of cases where addictive drugs need to be prescribed.
What is pain medication for
Pain medications, specifically extra strength ones, have the misconception that the end game is to completely remove all pain. This is a myth because pain medication is designed to alleviate the pain while the problem is being explored.
Pain management is the primary goal of pain medication regimens, and some of those pain medications are addictive. When you try to take too many to rid yourself of pain completely, you will move past dependency and straight into addiction.
Are prescription drugs safer?
Prescription drugs are safer. Unfortunately, prescription drugs are not safer than street-dealt heroin. Most teenagers believe that prescriptions are safer than illicit drugs because they come from a doctor.
The difference is that prescription drugs are regulated. This does not mean they are not as powerful, but it does mean that you could only get them with the help of a doctor. Morphine, for example, can be more debilitating and addictive than heroin. This is especially the case where the morphine is being abused.
How easy is it to get prescription drugs?
Addicts are getting prescription drugs from the streets. Most of the time this is not the case. Prescription drug addicts are more likely to find their next fix in their own medicine cabinet in their bathroom than they are dealt with them on the street.
Teenagers can easily get access to prescription stimulants from peers, and they won’t need to go any further than their circle of friends. This ties into the myth that prescription drugs are safer than straight-dealt drugs, they are not, but they are legal to use under the advice of a doctor.
Prescription drugs are widely accepted. It’s expected from some people that if they have prescription drugs, these are perfectly fine to take. The problem is that sharing drugs is a crime, even prescribed, and misusing or taking somebody else’s prescribed drug is not only dangerous but illegal. It’s a myth that they’re accepted in any way because they are not.
Prescription drug addiction is less harmful. This is the biggest and most dangerous myth of them all. Most prescription pill abuse is altered the way that their drugs are delivered. They do this for a more intense effect.
The problem is that many doctors are not trained in recognizing signs of drug abuse such as patients who have become dependent on medication long after their back pain has passed.
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Given that prescription drug addiction rates are remaining the same it’s important to find intensive outpatient and outpatient options. If all you can manage is telemed, there are multiple pathways for treatment but an impact outpatient program is a one-of-a-kind program that offers a path to lasting and sustainable recovery.