You can’t be too careful when it comes to your kids, but do you know what to look for when it comes to signs of substance abuse?
The problem of prescription painkillers abuse continues to make headlines, but what can parents do to limit the dangers for their kids? While legal pain meds like oxycodone (often marketed as OxyContin) and Percocet, available through the local pharmacy and prescribed by doctors, may not sound the same alarm bells as a street drug like heroin, it’s important to realize that both are opiates. To protect your children from experimenting with drugs, you can start by looking for the following warning signs, courtesy of MSNBC:
- Missing pills from prescription bottles in the home. Adults who’ve been prescribed opiate painkillers should be vigilant about storing them out of reach of teens.
- Behavioral changes, such as diminished interest in school, extracurricular activities and friends.
- Indifference or even sleepiness, because opiates are sedatives.
- Constant requests for money with nothing to show for it. Opiate users eventually build up tolerance to the drugs, so they need increasing amounts to achieve the same effects.
- Needle marks or unseasonable long-sleeved shirts to cover them up.
Young people (and even adults) often think the drugs are safe because a doctor prescribed them, but taking medication that isn’t prescribed to you or for symptoms you don’t have is always dangerous.
Some parents might have been surprised to see a warning about needle marks when we’re talking about prescription painkiller abuse, but the crackdown on these legal opiates has made them harder to get and has caused prices to skyrocket. As a result, desperate users are turning to heroin to get the same high for a much lower price. Also be aware that your teen can use heroin without injecting it. As purity increases, it’s possible to get the same high from snorting the drug.
If you do suspect drug use, don’t hesitate to seek help. There is always the possibility of overdose, even for new users, so don’t wait.
Prescription Drug Abuse Help at The Canyon
If you or someone you love needs prescription drug rehab, call The Canyon at the toll-free number on our homepage. Someone is there to take your call 24 hours a day and answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.