One of the fastest growing drug addiction problems in the United States revolves around OxyContin. This powerful time-release prescription painkiller has caused controversy almost since the day it was made available to public. Problems start to occur when individuals start abusing the drug. They are unaware of just how much more powerful it is than other widely-used painkillers in the U.S. Individuals across the country were snorting or injecting OxyContin, thus receiving the entire dose contained inside the pill at once. OxyContin’s design allows it to release smaller doses of the opiate over time. This can lead to emergency room visits and death by overdose. OxyContin receives the nickname “hillbilly heroin” because of the strength and addictive nature of the medication.
Perhaps no group has fallen victim to the OxyContin craze more than teenagers. Teen OxyContin addiction is on the rise in the United States and currently shows no signs of slowing down. We watch our children flirt with OxyContin use in school and at home. We are left with a disturbing question: how, exactly, do teenagers gain access to this dangerous drug?
From the Medicine Cabinet
Once a teenager learns about the euphoric effects associated with OxyContin, their first step is likely to be raiding their parents’ medicine cabinet. A family member may receive a prescription for OxyContin as a means of helping recovery from injury or illness or surgery. Chances are there could be some remnants of the drug prescription still in the home. This becomes easy prey for the teen who is looking to get high.
Solution: Throw away all old, unused medication in the house. Also keep potentially dangerous medications that are still in use under lock-and-key. Removing access to the drugs in your own home is one of the keys to prevention.
From Friends at School
One of the biggest challenges parents and teen drug rehab professionals face is the perception of OxyContin and other prescription medications. Teens tend to view them as a safer substitute to illicit street drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Friends often play a dominant role in this regard. They are the ones who tend to spread misinformation about OxyContin and also offer access to the drug via their own connections.
Solution: A child who is well-educated about the potential dangers of prescription drugs is less likely to falter to peer pressure. Talk to your kids about OxyContin and other prescription drugs. At a young age, it is important to explain to them that they should NEVER take medication without a prescription from the doctor.
On the Internet
The internet is overrun with illicit so-called pharmacies that offer prescription drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin to anyone with a major credit card and a mailing address. Amazingly, these businesses do not even need a medical examination and rarely ask for the age of those ordering the drugs. Countries with little or no government oversight are usually the culprits to these businesses. They are responsible for shipping fake or unsafe versions of OxyContin around the world. These illicit businesses are highly dangerous.
Solution: Parents should take the time to talk to their children about the dangers of internet pharmacies. Parents should check internet use and review their browsing history to see if they have visited any illicit sites. Especially if they use the internet at home.
Parents can help turn the tide against OxyContin addiction by talking to their kids about the dangers of prescription drugs. The longer parents wait to have this conversation, the greater the chance that kids will make their own decisions.
Newport Academy offers teen rehabilitation treatment for young men and women who have seen their lives turned upside-down by prescription drug addiction. If you or someone you know has been affected by OxyContin, we are here to help. Contact us at Newport Academy for more information and support.