Intentional Medicine Abuse 1

red-ribbon

Katelyn Hooker

Red Ribbon Week is coming October 24 through 28, so get ready for your red bracelets! By wearing these bracelets, you pledge to stay drug-free. With drug use up, it is increasingly important to be informed and to say, “No.”

New nationally projectable survey results released Oct 13, 2016, by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and Metlife Foundation confirmed that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least one in their lifetime – a 33 percent increase over the past five years.

The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study also found concerning data on teen misuse or abuse of prescriptions. One in eight teens (13 percent) new reports that they have taken the stimulants Ritalin or Adderall when it is not prescribed for them at least once in their lifetime.

Contributing to this trend in teen medicine abuse are the lax attitudes and beliefs in parents and caregivers.

In fact, according to nearly one-third of parents say they believe Rx stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall, normally prescribed for ADHD, can improve a teen’s academic performance even if the teen doesn’t suffer from ADHD.

Furthermore, parents are not effectively communicating the dangers of prescription medications, nor are they safeguarding it and disposing of unused medications properly.    

“The problem is real, the threat is immediate, and the situation is not poised to get better,” says Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “What’s worse is that kids who begin using drugs at an early age are more likely to struggle with substance use disorders when compared to those who might start using it after the teenage years. As parents and caring adults, we need to take a definitive action to address the risks that intentional medicine abuse poses to the lives and the long-term health of our teens,” he said.   

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So please, next time prescription medications are prescribed, please look at the label to avoid any harm when taking the medications. Make sure if someone offers something dangerous, like alcohol or drugs, refuse immediately, as they can be very harmful.

Red Ribbon Week is a good reminder to be cautious when using any medications.

Show your support by picking up your bracelets in G2B, the leadership room. Get them fast before they run out!

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