Some teens are mixing drugs because they think it will help them get high.
Many youth don’t understand the dangers of combining prescription drugs with alcohol or illicit drugs. Mixing some of these drugs can slow the heart and respiration—and lead to death. Most unintentional poisoning deaths result from the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs.1
Today’s teens abuse prescription drugs to get high more than any illicit drug except marijuana.2 Even more troubling? Teens who abuse prescription drugs are far more likely to be using other substances as well: Of those teens who abuse prescription painkillers, 81% have also used alcohol and 58% have used marijuana.3
Parents can help protect teens by setting firm rules of no drug use of any kind and stressing the serious risks of mixing any drugs.
What to do?
· Safeguard all prescription drugs and alcohol at home. Monitor quantities and control access.
· Set clear rules about alcohol and drug use, including marijuana, and consequences for breaking them.
· Be a good role model by not sharing prescription medicines and if you choose to drink, use alcohol in moderation.
· Properly conceal and dispose of old or unused prescription drugs in the trash.
· Ask friends and family to safeguard their prescription drugs and alcohol as well.
You can keep your teen safe and drug-free. To learn more, visit TheAntiDrug.com or call 1-800-788-2800.CTCADA offers both adolescent intervention and treatment programs. Education, individual counseling, family therapy, group counseling and referral to other resources are all part of a comprehensive effort to prevent or intervene in youth alcohol and drug abuse. Call us at 254-690-4455!
1 The Centers for Disease Control. (2007). Unintentional poisoning deaths—United States, 1999-2004. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. February 9, 2007/56(05), 93-96.
2 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA, September 2007.
3 Wu, L,-T., Pilowsky, D. & Patkar, A. (2008). Non-prescribed use of pain relievers among adolescents in the United States. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 94(1-3), 1-11. “Painkillers” include Vicodin and OxyContin.