October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

After marijuana, the drugs most commonly abused by teens are prescription medications. Teens use these drugs to
get high, to “self-medicate” for anxiety or pain or sleep problems, or even to try to improve school performance.
Prescription drugs are in easy reach, available in teens’ own homes.

Prescription Drugs Most Commonly Misused by Teens
– Pain relievers (such as Vicodin, OxyContin)
– Sedatives and tranquilizers (such as Valium, Xanax)
– Stimulants (such as Ritalin, Adderall)
– OTC Cold Medications (such as Sudafed,

Health Concerns Associated With Teen Prescription Drug Misuse:
– Dependence and addiction (especially to
opioids, anti-anxiety drugs and sleep
– Overdose, sometimes fatal (especially to
opioids, anti-anxiety drugs and sleep
– Seizures, irregular heartbeat and cardiovascular
complications (especially with stimulants)
– Increased risk of suicide

Preventing Prescription Drug Misuse Among Teens
– Talk with teens about the dangers of
prescription drug use, equating them with the dangers of “street drugs.”
– Store medications securely in a locked cabinet.
-Ask grandparents and others to secure their medications as well.