In the war against drugs, illicit substances remain an enemy. However, prescription medications are proving to be a more serious threat. Prescription drug addiction is a growing problem in the United States, and it affects both the young and old. Those who are addicted to prescription medications include teenagers and the elderly alike.
Prescription Drug Addiction and the Youth
These days, there is a decrease in the use of illegal drugs among teens, and this is mostly due to the fact that most young people now prefer to take prescription drugs instead. According to USA Today, prescription pills are popular among youths because taking these does not seem as taboo as taking the likes of heroin or cocaine. One thing that makes prescription drug addiction likely to develop among teens is the accessibility of the drugs. Any teen can easily get their fix from their family medicine cabinet. It is important to note that adolescents are not only taking prescription pills to get high—some self-medicate while others use the drugs (stimulants in particular) to boost performance in school.
Prescription Drug Addiction and the Elderly
Prescription drug addiction is a silent epidemic among older adults. The aging population is often overlooked regarding this problem, though they are most at risk for prescription medication abuse and addiction. As pointed out by the Johns Hopkins Health Information Network, Americans age 65 and over take one third of all prescription drugs. They are also those who take more potentially addictive drugs.
Older individuals are most at risk of prescription drug abuse and addiction because they are more likely to get prescribed with two kinds of medications that have addictive potential: opioid pain relievers and benzodiazepines. Prescription opioids abused by the elderly include OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. Benzodiazepines abused by the elderly are Xanax, Valium, Ativan and Klonopin.
Addressing Prescription Drug Addiction
While prescription medications are indeed safer than street drugs, addiction to these is just as dangerous. Anyone hooked on prescription medications require immediate help, regardless of their age. If you or a loved one is dealing with prescription drug addiction, seek help now. It costs nothing to call our number and get the assistance of a qualified counselor. Act now before it is too late.
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