The DEA, in 2011, (Drug Enforcement Administration) stated that 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs non-medically for the first time in the past year. One-third of those statistics are ages 12-17, averaging 6,600 people per day. Of that 5.1 million were pain relievers and 2.2 million were tranquilizers. Going further from a study in 2010, 1 in every 20 people in the United States age 12 and older—equals 12 million people—reported using prescription painkillers non-medically. Topping this, over a half of a million emergency department visits in 2010 were due to people misusing or abusing prescription painkillers. Yet, they are so easily and readily attainable, either from the doctor prescribing them creating a misuse scenario, or even worse, getting them by other means…
No medicine is ever safe in your household in this day and age. Teens are not the most common person prescribed drugs, including things like painkillers and tranquilizers. But, teens are the most common in abusing them, or misusing them, or finding them as a gateway to an overdose. But, begs the question, “How are they getting the prescription drugs if they aren’t the one’s being prescribed?”
Imagine being a teenager and coming home from school bullied, or you’ve just found out your 16-year-old girlfriend has been cheating on you. This creates an immense amount of distress for the teenager. You being the parent have to work, but your child and their friends get out of school at a much earlier time than you do. So, now we have motive. The teen is hurting, the teen has friends, and these friends usually come home with your teenager from school on a regular basis. With the statistics given if there is traffic between your households of roughly twenty 12-17-year-old within a month, or more at that rate, what isn’t to say that one of those teenagers isn’t abusing prescription medication that they aren’t prescribed. Now here comes the kicker. If they’re not getting them from the doctor, they’re getting them from your medicine cabinet, your bedroom night stand, or even your kitchen drawers.
So, why if this is such a problem are the parents leaving the drugs so readily available? Part of the answer lies in an un-education to means and service to these medications. Part of the question is answered when the student arrives home first. But what begs an even bigger question is if these prescriptions are considered a controlled substance and are dangerous to one’s health if abused or misused, why wouldn’t we, should we, or are we, locking them up? Why aren’t they being locked up for the parent’s protection and legality, or the teenager’s health and legality as well. Because it goes to show that this isn’t just a misuse or abuse problem, it’s also stealing to maintain or get a high from something that isn’t yours; hence the non-medical use/abuse/misuse of illegally obtained drugs, not by a drug dealer.
So if you’re asking yourself if you’re living in a safe neighborhood, or if you should be worried about your children finding a drug dealer at school, down the block, or even traveling to a high drug infested place in search of them, don’t continue asking that question because the bigger question is why is there a cartel sitting in your bedroom medicine cabinet instead?
So as the statement goes don’t ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country, because the youth need you now more than ever. Use this as education but use this also as implementation for a safer household, a healthier youth, and a means and ways to fight back against the drug cartel sitting on your nightstand versus it in a lock box which only costs a rough estimate of $20 tops. There are no lengths that teens won’t go to ending their misery, we must already know that as mental health issues have been on the table for a long time now, and addiction is just now claiming the term epidemic. I know and remember as a teenager myself there were many instances that the way I’d get drugs would be from other methods than a drug dealer, and I’m sure these “drug dealers,” or better yet kids from school, were getting and selling the prescription narcotics came straight from their parents, or other parents medicine drawers.
So this is a call to action to change the way people are finding and abusing drugs. This is a call to action to help better our children of this world into a safer environment. And you are the one’s that can make a difference. Because if you think the dope man is sitting down the street, you’re wrong. He’s sitting in your bathroom cabinet. Now be proactive and lock up your medication, no matter the kind, because this is a 911 emergency starring us straight in the face and only you, yes you personally, can do something about it! Because we don’t want 70% of youth to claim that they got prescription drugs from a friend or relative (unknowing relative/medicine drawer). We want a safer country, a safer world, and an overall healthy youth to stop this epidemic here and now!
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