One study showed that in 2016, a frightening 99% of doctors prescribed narcotic painkillers in dosages which exceed the federally governed three day limit. Evidently there are only 1 out of every 100 doctors responsibly prescribing powerful painkillers that have been shown to drive addiction which sometimes leads to a dramatic downturn in quality of life, criminal behavior, and sometimes suicide.
In the United States as many as 45 people die each and every day from the abuse of opioid painkillers which have been prescribed by a doctor. This is more death than what is caused by the combined overdoses of cocaine and heroin. Unfortunately, many of these deaths include teenagers.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported in 2017 that a full 4.3 million Americans take prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons each month. More than 50% of those people got their drugs from a relative or friend. This means your teen could be abusing someone else’s prescription drugs without you knowing.
Keep lines of communication open with your teen. Talk to them about the dangers of amphetamines like Ritalin or Adderall. Don’t keep your personal, prescribed medications in the medicine chest. Keep them under lock and key, in a location unknown to your teen. If your child asks for money, make them account for what that money was spent on. Speak to your child’s educators, and arrange for drug abuse education at the school level.
You should also understand that things like cough medicine can be addictive. There are opiates and narcotics in many cough suppressants which can be abused. Keeping these and other more serious medications away from your teen, talking to your teen about drug addiction and arranging a discussion between your family doctor and your teen are some simple steps that could keep addiction from devastating your family.