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Prescription Drug Abuse Up Among Teens & Doctors Could Play A Role

December 31, 1969

Drug abuse has been a problem among the teenage population for decades. Unfortunately, today many teenagers are not just experimenting with illegal narcotics but are also using prescription drugs in dangerous and illegal ways. A new study indicates that this type of prescription drug abuse among teenagers has increased significantly in recent years. 1418156_magic_pills.jpg

Our Costa Mesa personal injury attorney know that prescription drug abuse is a dangerous and even potentially fatal practice. Unfortunately, there may be doctors and parents who are supporting this type of dangerous behavior, which could help to explain why prescription drug abuse is on the rise.

More Teens Abusing Prescription Drugs

According to Web MD, the United States is currently involved in a "prescription drug abuse crisis among teens." This statement is based on a new survey indicating that around 24 percent of all high school students have abused a prescription medication. This adds up to more than five million high school kids throughout the United States. It is also 33 percent more kids than were abusing prescription drugs last year when the survey was conducted.

Kids use a variety of different kinds of dangerous prescription drugs, but 13 percent reported that they used an ADHD drug such as Ritalin or Adderall. These drugs can act as stimulants similar to speed and are often used by kids who want a competitive edge in their schoolwork. In some cases, parents will condone or support this prescription drug abuse to try to help their kids do well in school. In fact, an estimated 1/3 of parents surveyed indicated a belief that either Ritalin or Adderall could improve their child's performance in school even without an ADHD diagnosis.

Parents and kids can both pressure doctors to provide a prescription for one of these medications that may not be justified, which gets the doctor involved in facilitating prescription drug abuse as well. If something goes wrong, the doctor could potentially be blamed for the consequences of the prescription drug abuse if he was negligent in prescribing the drug and/or if knew that there was no legitimate need for the prescription medication.

ADHD drugs are, of course, not the only prescriptions that kids abuse either. The study indicates that both parents and kids seem to buy into the idea that misusing prescription meds is a safer way to get high than using illegal drugs. Further, 1/3 of the teens who were surveyed indicated that they don't think there's anything wrong with taking a prescription drug for a condition that had never been prescribed.

This is a dangerous trend, especially if the idea that it is OK to abuse prescription drugs becomes more mainstream. Parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing and need to become informed about the impact that different prescription drugs can have. Doctors should also be vigilant about identifying potential drug abuse and must make sure they do not give in to the demands of either a teen or a parent asking for a prescription without a legitimate medical need.

Contact Howard Law, PC today, if you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a prescription drug overdose. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. 1-800-872-5925.

Additional Resources:
Dangerous Hospital Policy Could Lead to Patient Injuries, California Injury Lawyers, April 2, 2013