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Chasing The High

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Chasing the High:

Prescription Drug Abuse among Teenagers ( 12-17 Years)

Prescription Drugs are medications that are prescribed to patients by a doctor to help in many ways, such as relieve pain, treat symptoms of a disease, or to help fight an infection. They are very safe when used properly and under supervision of a physician, yet if used without approval of a doctor they can be very harmful and in some cases could lead to death. During your adolescence years, teens have curiosity which builds up and leads them to experimentation. They pop a pill, get high and then want more. Not only do they ease your state of mind, Increasing numbers of teens have easy access to painkillers through classmates, friends, family members, and even online. Sometimes they can even obtain the leftovers from the family medicine cabinet. After experimenting with prescription drugs, what was once a curiosity can turn into dependence rather quickly and even lead to death. Teenagers feel that taking pills is a cheaper, less harmful way to ease your state of mind. If teens are not educated about prescription drugs and the consequences they withhold than the drug use among teens will only increase and so will the deaths.

There are many reasons for continued use with prescription drugs. Some teens feel it takes their minds off of stressful issues and helps them escape their

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problems. Then again, they could be the outsider of a group and feel it's a solution to make them fit in with the crowd. Other reasoning's are based upon curiosity and rebellion against their parent's authority. It gives them a powerful, emotional state that their in control of what they do helping them feel grown up. According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, "there are certain risk factors that are strong indicators of potential for addiction or abuse: poverty, substance use by parents or other family members, substance use by peers and the perception that "everybody's doing it", early use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs, poor adjustment to school and/or low achievement at school, poor physical and/or social environment at home or at school, being homeless or running away, childhood aggression, rebellious or sensation-seeking behavior, and being a victim of physical or sexual abuse. (Drug Abuse-Addiction 1)

There are three classes or prescription drugs that are most commonly abused by teenagers: Opioids, CNS depressants, and Stimulants. "Among teens who abuse prescription drugs, the most commonly reported use was of prescription painkillers or opiods." (Chasing The High 1) Opiods are drugs that ease the pain by blocking all pain messages. These drugs can "produce drowsiness; cause constipation; depress breathing..." (National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign 1) If you use them for a long time, it can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Your body becomes used to your normal dosage, therefore you must consume higher dosages to feel the full effect which can

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sometimes lead teens to an overdose. If the doses are reduced or stopped withdrawal symptoms occur such as vomiting, involuntary leg movement, and

muscle and bone pain. You should never A few examples include Morphine, Codeine, Hydrocodone, and Oxycodone.(XXXX risk of abusing prescription drugs) CNS depressants calm the nerves of people who have anxiety disorders and/or insomnia problems. They are known to slow the brains activity down increasing drowsiness. (National Drug Intelliagance Center 3) Valium and Xanax are examples within this group used by teenagers. Withdrawal symptoms include seizures, irregular heartbeat, body temperature increases, cardiovascular failure, create feelings of hatred, and can be harmful when combined with anti-depressants or cough/cold medicines. (risks of abusing pres. Drugs) Last, we have Stimulants. They enhance the brain activity which increases your attention span and energy. Ritalin, Concerta, and Adderall are common examples used by teenagers. (National Drug Intelliagance Center 3) Withdrawal symptoms include violence and hostility. There you have the three most widely used drugs by teenagers.

It's rare that



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