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Abuse Of Prescription Meds Among Teens Greater Than Most Illegal Drugs

November 8, 2010

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, teens abuse prescription medications more than all illegal drugs combined, excluding marijuana. Many teens are under the misconception that these highly addictive, easily accessible drugs are “safer” than illicit drugs.

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Derek Spring of Summerfield, is just one Florida teen effected by prescription drug abuse. It started after an argument with his girlfriend. A friend offered 19-year old Derek a pill to help him forget his troubles. Derek was reluctant to take it until his friend mistakenly told him, “Hey, this can’t hurt you, I wouldn’t give you a street drug, this is a prescription pill from a doctor.” Janice Spring, Derek’s mom, is now living with the tragic consequence that can result from prescription addiction. “The pill not only hurt Derek, it addicted him, and then it killed him,” she says.

Nationally, 3.2 million teens, or one in five, admit to abusing prescription medication at least once. Without teen education, these numbers are expected to increase. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has designated November 8 – 14, National Drug Facts Week; a health observance week for teens. The physicians working with The Pain Truth, a campaign established to combat Florida’s increasing prescription drug addiction problem, suggest parents and educators share the following information with teens to help shatter the myths of prescription drugs.

MYTHS

Prescription drugs are safe – A drug is not safe just because a doctor prescribed it. Prescription meds require a prescription because they are powerful drugs that need to be monitored and dosed properly to avoid problems like overdose and risks like heart failure.

Sharing prescription medication is legal – Using someone’s prescribed medications, many of which are considered controlled substances without a doctor’s prescription, is harmful and definitely illegal. Only a doctor or pharmacist can legally give you these medications.

Prescription drugs are not as addictive as street drugs – Actually, some prescription drugs pose an even greater risk for addiction than street drugs. This is precisely why they are regulated by doctors and prescribed for specific amounts of time or conditions.

FACTS

Physical Effects-Because prescription meds can become highly addictive, prolonged use of medications can result in uncontrollable bodily functions such as, diarrhea, urination, thirst, drowsiness, rashes, or even death.

Social Effects-Because the physical effects can become excessive, this can cause a teen to lose focus in school or activities, get out of touch with friends and family, or become less motivated in their own personal appearance or reputation.

Legal Effects-Being charged with possession or the distribution of drugs can have lasting effects on your reputation and background, which can follow a young teen for the rest of their life.

“Our society has become so accustomed to taking prescription pills to cure whatever ails them, that many people, both teens and adults, believe these medications are less harmful. Teens particularly have no fear experimenting with prescription medications,” said Sanford Silverman, MD, a pain & addiction specialist and President-elect of the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (FSIPP). “As a result our medicine cabinets have inadvertently become the neighborhood drug source.”

About the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (FSIPP)

FSIPP is a not-for-profit organization whose members promote the development and practice of safe, high quality, cost-effective interventional pain management techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of pain and related disorders. Members are advocates for the health of their patients and uphold the high principles, policies, and practices of their medical specialty. They also pursue to educate all stakeholders about pain, pain management techniques, pain medications, and the credentials a qualified pain physician holds. FSIPP was an integral part in getting the Prescription Drug Monitoring Legislation passed in the state.

About The Pain Truth

The Pain Truth is a public education campaign, established by the Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, to combat the increase in prescription drug abuse in the state of Florida. The program includes a series of public service announcements, education, awareness, Internet, and community events across the state. The full-on offensive will canvas the state and reach people at home, workplaces, schools, churches and more, leading up to an event when The SUNSHINE STATE Goes Dark for a Day. The event is meant to recognize lives lost, by offering an official day of mourning for families and friends of thousands who have died at the hands of prescription drug addiction.

SOURCE Florida Society of Interventional Pain Physicians (FSIPP)


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