When it comes to drug abuse, teens often turn to the medicine cabinet more than the drug dealer down the street.
Teenage Prescription Drug Use
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drugs are second to marijuana in rates of abuse by teenagers. Some students abuse medications they’ve been given by their friends or family members. Other students abuse medications in so-called “pharma parties,” where the teens may take incredibly high doses of medications. Others abuse the medications they’ve been given explicit prescriptions for.
An Ambien Primer
According to the Mayo Clinic, Ambien should only be provided for a short period of time. A prescription for one to two days of medication might be common, although some doctors might give the medication for up to two weeks.
The pills can be habit-forming, so doctors dislike the idea of providing them for a long period of time.
Teens who abuse Ambien may take extremely large doses of the pills. Some teens crush the pills and then snort them. This can be a dangerous practice, especially if the teen is using a time-release format of Ambien. By crushing the pills, the active ingredients of the drug immediately hit the body. Instead of feeling a low level of symptoms for a long period of time, all the effects hit at once.
Teens who take very high doses of Ambien are at risk of overdose, according to the website Drugs.com. Ambien tends to cause sedation, and the user may become so sedated that he/she stops breathing. This is not the only negative side effect that users can experience when taking high doses of Ambien.
French researchers studied published reports of two patients who were addicted and taking high doses. These patients experienced an extreme amount of unpleasant symptoms including:
- High amounts of energy
- Distorted speech
According to a first-person interview reported in Newsweek, teens might also feel a variety of pleasurable symptoms when they take Ambien. These symptoms include a sense of relaxation and apathy, and feelings of happiness or silliness. Teens who have been struggling with stress or depression may find this altered state pleasurable and hard to obtain in another way.
Dangers of Ambien Abuse
Teens who abuse Ambien, or any other prescription drug, live in an increasingly isolated atmosphere. As their addictions grow, they may devote a significant amount of time and energy to the idea of getting more drugs and using the drugs when they have them. Instead of spending time with family, friends and peers, the teen is often spending time alone, using drugs.
As mentioned, Ambien is a sedating drug and teens who abuse the drug are at risk of overdose. This risk grows even higher if the teen mixes Ambien with another sedative, such as alcohol. This augmented effect was reported in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, although the subjects didn’t report an increase in pleasurable symptoms. Instead of getting a boost that might make them feel good, they got a boost that made them even more sedated. Teens who mix alcohol and Ambien are truly playing a dangerous game.
Looking to the Internet
Internet pharmacies can hold their own dangers. According to a bulletin written by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2007, consumers who bought Ambien and other drugs from online pharmacies received drugs that contained haloperidol, a powerful medication used to treat psychosis. Some went to the emergency room as a result. Teens who buy medications from the Internet are also taking risks with their health.
Side Effects of Long-Term Use
In addition, Ambien is an incredibly strong drug that the body becomes accustomed to having access to. If the teen decides, for whatever reason, to stop taking the drug and abruptly ceases use, a variety of side effects can occur. The article published in the journal L’Encéphale states that these withdrawal side effects can include:
- Seizure (although this is rare)
- Suicidal thoughts
Teens who abuse Ambien may rebound between trying to stop using the drug, feeling these horrible symptoms and then using the drug again. This back and forth can also increase the teen’s sense of isolation and make the addiction even stronger.
In some cases, the addicts took the drug to augment another substance they had been taking at the same time. Teens who are addicted to Ambien and another substance at the same time face higher risks of a variety of issues including premature death, overdose and law enforcement action. If a teen is addicted to Ambien and another substance, it’s all the more important for that teen to get professional treatment.
In a structured teen drug treatment program, the teen will receive professional clinical care. Also, the program will ensure that the teen endures no painful side effects or life-threatening problems. Doctors and therapists will help the teen understand the dangers surrounding addiction. Furthermore, they will and provide the teen with the tools necessary to prevent a relapse from occurring. This can be an amazing transformation for a teen, and the lessons learned in therapy can stick with the teen for the rest of his/her life.
At Newport Academy, we focus exclusively on teens, and we use the most up-to-date therapy models to help teens recover from the addictions they face. By using therapy alongside animal therapy and other teen-focused programs, we can make a difference in the life of an addict.
Please call us today to find out more about how we can help.