A new report revealed that many Massachusetts parents have little understanding of prescription drug addiction risks for teens. In fact, some parents have even reported giving their children prescription medications without a doctor’s consent.
The Rising Statistics
The Partnership at Drugfree.org study revealed a number of interesting facts and statistics, including:
- About 67 percent of MA parents surveyed said they are worried that their kids will experiment with drugs. Yet only two percent were concerned about prescription drugs specifically. Thirty-three percent of parents were more concerned about alcohol. 11 percent were concerned about the risks of marijuana abuse among teens.
- 30 percent of MA parents knew that the active ingredient in popular prescription painkillers is similar to that of heroin.
- About 56 percent of MA parents said their kids had access to adult prescription painkillers.
- Approximately 45 percent of parents reported using prescription painkillers non-medically. And, 14 percent said that they had given their kids painkillers without getting a prescription.
- Almost all parents – 97 percent – said that they have discussed the dangers associated with drug and alcohol abuse with their children. But, only 76 percent of those parents say that they have talked about prescriptions drug dangers.
A Perfect Example — Drug Use In New England
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment reports that New England has an exceptionally high rate of crime directly related to prescription drug abuse.
More people die due to prescription drug-related illnesses, accidents and overdoses than they do in car accidents in this area.
In fact, about 3,200 people have died in a four-year period due to their abuse of prescription drugs.
The National Drug Problem Is Getting Worse
Moreover, the problem is getting worse over the years. The 2017 National Drug Threat Assessment found the following to be true.
- Heroin now poses a serious public health and safety threat to the United States. Overdose deaths continue to rise. More teens are using opioids than ever before
- Fentanyl is increasingly mixed with questionable compounds and sold as heroin. Fentanyl also is more widely available in the form of counterfeit prescription pills. Given the drug’s power, Fentanyl abuse leads to more overdoses.
- The methamphetamine threat has remained a huge problem as inbound seizures of methamphetamine from Mexico have increased every year since 2010. The Mexican cartels have taken control of the methamphetamine trade.
- The cocaine threat is on the rebound with cocaine availability increasing significantly. Crack is a problem as well.
- Illegal marijuana production has increased with user demand for higher concentrated forms of marijuana fueling the illegal trade
What Parents Can Do
The fact that parents are not aware of these issues means that their teenagers are at a higher risk for developing a dysfunctional relationship with prescription drugs and potentially developing a debilitating addiction as a result. They are also at higher risk for living with that addiction without their parents recognizing the issue – and getting them the help they need to recover.
If your teen is struggling with dependence upon or abuse of any drug, including prescription painkillers, contact us at Newport Academy today to get them started on the treatment they need to heal.