Did you know that as a parent you could be fueling your child’s addiction problem? Parents in the US are oblivious to the fact that over-the-counter cough medication and prescription medication have a potential of plunging their children and teens into dangerous lifestyle problems.
Research indicates that the abuse of prescription drugs and cough medicine comes second to marijuana abuse among teens. Officials from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids states the fact that one out of every four teens in the US has abused prescription medication or cough syrup. They further observe that one out of 25 teenagers uses cough medication to get high.
Prescription drug abuse is formally defined as the act of taking medication that has been prescribed for another person or taking your prescription in the way it has not been prescribed. Teens abuse prescription drugs in a variety of ways. Some take more pills than recommended while others continue taking the painkillers even after the symptoms of the illness or injury they were suffering from subsides. Most of these teens get the pills from family members and friends. Some even go out to buy the medication. Some states such as New Mexico permits the sale of over-the-counter cough syrup medication containing dextromethorphan an addictive ingredient in the cough medication.
The addiction problem is further compounded by parents who believe that the use of prescription drugs and cough medication to get high is much safer than using other hardcore drugs like heroin and cocaine. What these parents are unaware of is the potential abuse and overdose that can occur from the abuse of these “safer” drugs. Further, they also fail to understand that most heroin addictions start from the abuse of seemingly more harmless prescription drug abuse.
Parents are highly advised to keep pace with the many different names that their teens use to refer to prescription drugs and cough medication. Some of these names include kibbles ‘n’ bits (Ritalin), Vic (Vicodin), xanibars (Xanax) and Orange Crush of Triple C for cough medicine. As a countermeasure, you need to get involved in the lives of your children. Some signs will alert you of possible cough medicine or prescription drug abuse among your kids. These include: Changes in personality or mood. Sudden and unexplained weight gain or loss. Changes in energy levels and sleeping habits. Loss of appetite. Loss of interest in activities. Poor grades or difficulty with school work.
As a parent, you can take remedial steps to prevent cough medication and prescription drug abuse amongst your children. For example, you should ensure that all medication is locked away and any old prescription drugs must be disposed of immediately and properly.
For parents with children taking prescription drugs for some medical condition, always make sure that you give them the right dosage as prescribed by the doctor. Do not allow your child to keep drugs in their possession or room. All medication must be stored away in a locked cabinet. You should also take time and talk to your children on the effects of abusing prescription drugs. Additionally, you should advise your kids to keep good company so that they avoid the pressure of indulging in drug abuse from peers.