Friday, May 24th, 2013
A new survey shows that 24 percent of U.S. teens have abused prescription medications that were not prescribed to them and this number represents more than 5 million teenagers. These numbers are very scary. This is a 33% increase from 2008. Many teens may take ADHD drugs which have not been prescribed for them but were prescribed for their siblings or friends. In fact, 13 percent of teens said they took either Adderall or Ritalin (both ADHD medications) at least once when it was not prescribed for them.
The prescription drug use may begin before teens are 14 years of age. Research shows 20% of the teens who admit to abusing prescription drugs said they first abused prescription drugs that were not prescribed for them before they were 14 years old. Teens that start abusing drugs when they are young are much more likely to have an addiction problem as adults. Unfortunately, 27% of these same teens mistakenly believe the abuse of prescription drugs is safer than the use of ecstasy or cocaine. Almost 33% of parents surveyed believed Adderall or Ritalin can boost a teen’s school performance safely even if they haven’t been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Inappropriate doses of ADHD medications can cause hallucinations, seizures, psychosis, hypertension, mania or aggressive behavior and many other untoward reactions. Use of narcotics like OxyContin can result in addiction, respiratory arrest, severe hypotension and shock. Teens and adults may have the misconception that these prescription medications are safe and are safer than “street drugs”.
This same study indicates about 80% of parents talk to their teens about marijuana and alcohol, almost 33% talk about crack and cocaine, but only 15% of parents said they ever discussed abuse of prescription medications.
The take home message is clear. Parents need to talk to their kids about the abuse of all these drugs and not neglect discussing the abuse of prescription medications. These conversations should begin in grade school and should be reinforced as kids enter middle school and high school. Secondly, prescription medications should be locked up so they are not accessible and unused, old and expired prescription medications should be discarded safely. We all need to wake up to the reality of this crisis for our young people.
Submitted by David Roos, M.D.
Friday, May 13th, 2011
Crown Point Pediatrics is pleased to offer some generic prescription medications directly from our office for medical conditions such as ear infections, pink eye, asthma, GERD, skin and respiratory infections, eczema, diaper rash, sleep issues and depression. We can dispense these medications from our office while you are here to save you time and save you some money as well. Patients can pay with cash or credit card but we will be unable to submit the claim to your insurance company. If you have a Health Savings Account you can use the account to pay for the medication. Medicaid or CHP+ patients will be unable to use the service. Ask our staff if you have questions about our new prescription service. As always, we are happy to serve you with this new program.