Teenage boys and prescription drug abuse
Prescription drug abuse among teens is on the rise. Experts estimate that 20% of teens have used prescription drugs to get high. Many of these teens find prescription drugs in their parents or grandparents medicine cabinet. Recent research has indicated that teenage girls have caught up with teenage boys in the rates of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Even more disturbing, the studies report that girls are far more likely to abuse prescription drugs. Also, teenage girls have different reasons for abusing prescription drugs than teenage boys.
Teenage boys and prescription drug abuse: Reasons
Surveys report that teenage boys and prescription drug abuse results mainly because the boys want to get high and experiment. Girls, however, have different reasons for prescription drug abuse. Girls are more likely to abuse prescription drugs for a specific purpose like to increase concentration or treat pain. In other words, girls are self-prescribing for a specific purpose, while teenage boys are just looking to get wasted. Teenage girls to use substances to help their mood, boost their confidence, and cope with problems. They also use substances to help them lose weight.
While teenage boys and prescription drug abuse is a growing problem, teenage girls may be in even more danger. For one, teenage girls are more affected by drugs and alcohol than teenage boys. The same dose tends to cause a girl to become far more intoxicated due to gender differences in body type and metabolism. Also, because girls take these drugs for a specific purpose rather than just to get high, they tend to be more likely to rationalize drug use. They think “What’s the problem? Doctors prescribe these medications for the same reasons I am using them.”
Teenage boys and prescription drug abuse: Danger
More than one third of new prescription drug abusers are under the age of 18. Studies have shown that 40 percent of teens think that prescription drugs are not as dangerous as street drugs. Almost 30 percent of teens think that prescription painkillers are not addictive. Clearly, teens are underestimating the risk of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs can be just as addictive and dangerous as street drugs. Teenage boys and prescription drug abuse can also lead to addiction. Studies indicate that the younger a person is when they begin abusing prescription drugs, the more likely they are to have drug and alcohol problems later in life. Clearly, teens aren’t being educated about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Teenage boys and prescription drug abuse: Heroin
Another problem related to teenage boys and prescription drug abuse is that many of these teens are turning to heroin when prescription painkillers become too expensive or difficult to find. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration (SAMHSA), introductions to heroin have increased 80 percent among 12- to 17-year-olds in the last ten years. Fatal overdoses among teens have more than doubled in the same time span. Teenage boys are more likely to turn to heroin after they become dependent on prescription narcotics.