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Home arrow About Addiction arrow Are Prescription Drugs the New Gateway Drugs?

Are Prescription Drugs the New Gateway Drugs?

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The problems of drug abuse change over time. oxicontin hydrocodone.jpgThe most popular illicit drug today may have been low in popularity four or five years ago and will be forgotten tomorrow.   Officials are finding that many young people who are using or have developed a dependence to heroin actually started by using prescription drugs. Then when their supplies of pills ran short, they found that heroin satisfied as well.

Officials are finding that many young people who are using or are even addicted to heroin actually started by using prescription drugs. Then when their supplies of pills ran short, they found that heroin satisfied as well. 

 

The nonmedical use or abuse of prescription drugs is a serious and growing public health problem in this country. Thousands of people in the US, mostly people in their teens abuse prescription drugs for the first time each day. These numbers are exceeded, according to reports from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, only by marijuana use.

 

Why would this be happening?

 

  • Prescription drugs are seen as safer by young people because they come from legitimate sources.
  • Less chance they’ll be caught; prescription drugs create no smoke, require no needles, produce no smells like alcohol or inhalants and pills are easily hidden in a drawer or pocket.
  • It has never occurred to most parents that the pills in the medicine cabinet are targets for their kids and their kids’ classmates.
  • Most adults use prescription painkillers as directed and don’t experience the “high” that makes them attractive as recreational drugs and so might just leave them in plain sight in the medicine cabinet.
  • And, finally, it’s common knowledge in high schools and middle schools that these drugs can get one high so they are traded and sold to classmates. This makes the schools breeding grounds for prescription drug addiction.

 

All drugs are essentially poisons and the easy availability of dangerous prescription drugs, plus their addictive qualities make a deadly combination. Witness the steady stream of high profile deaths due to overdoses and fatal combinations of legal drugs.

 

The answer? Effective and comprehensive education on the effects of drugs and the truth about addiction. Our young people MUST be made aware of the effects of these powerful agents before they can be convinced to try them. Ignorance is the enemy here. For more information, read articles at http://www.drugindependence.org

 

Tony Bylsma



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