Article : Parents: the Oblivious Drug Suppliers

Date:2018-02-01 Author:Shae T.

Without even realizing it, many parents are providing teenagers and their friends access to what has become the second most popular drug after marijuana: prescription drugs. It is estimated that an overwhelming one-third of all U.S. drug abuse involves prescription drugs (National Institute On Drug Addiction). Teens are getting these prescription drugs from their own homes, from friends, and through websites on the Internet. Some of these young people are taking pills from the family medicine cabinet and distributing them at school. What they don’t realize is that distributing drugs, even prescription drugs, is considered drug dealing and is not only illegal, but potentially lethal. Using prescription drugs without a doctor’s approval can lead to serious health problems, addiction, compulsive drug seeking, and in some cases – death. As a parent, it is your right to be informed. Here are some important facts and tips that may help prevent you from becoming an oblivious drug supplier.


Without even realizing it, many parents are providing teenagers and their friends access to what has become the second most popular drug after marijuana: prescription drugs. It is estimated that an overwhelming one-third of all U.S. drug abuse involves prescription drugs (National Institute On Drug Addiction). Teens are getting these prescription drugs from their own homes, from friends, and through websites on the Internet. Some of these young people are taking pills from the family medicine cabinet and distributing them at school. What they don’t realize is that distributing drugs, even prescription drugs, is considered drug dealing and is not only illegal, but potentially lethal. Using prescription drugs without a doctor’s approval can lead to serious health problems, addiction, compulsive drug seeking, and in some cases – death. As a parent, it is your right to be informed. Here are some important facts and tips that may help prevent you from becoming an oblivious drug supplier.

A Deadly Trend

Teenagers are not just misusing these pills unintentionally; they are making a game out of it. This new game has come to be known as “Pharming.” “Pharming” is a new slang term for grabbing a handful of prescription drugs and swallowing them. Doing this, they never know what kind of outcome they will get. This “game” has no winners.

Commonly abused prescription drugs

The most commonly abused prescription drugs belong to one of three categories, although there are many other categories of drugs (Facts):

  • Narcotic Pain Medications (Opioids) – prescribed to treat pain.
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants – used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.
  • CNS Stimulants – prescribed to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

What to Do

  • Monitor Internet use. There are Internet pharmacies that will sell to just about anyone. Some teens actually order medications on websites (or “pill mills”) that are not monitored by the FDA. These sites are often in countries outside of the United States. Be sure to review the history on your computer and carefully track where your teen is making purchases on the Internet. Especially if you allow them access to your credit card, or if they have their own card.
  • Clean your cabinets. Take a good hard look at your medicine cabinet. Don’t keep old prescriptions that no longer fulfill your needs.
  • Take inventory. You have a right to know where your medicine is going, and not going. A good way to keep track of this is making a note of the levels in each bottle. Keep your prescription medications out of reach. Put them in a safe place where only you have access. Move your OTC (Over the Counter) medications to a safe place. You should be monitoring your teenager’s use of these drugs as well.
  • Talk about it. Just like anything else, it is important to talk to your kids. Even if you don’t suspect it is a problem, your children will be faced with this issue whether at school, on TV, or surfing the Internet. Your children need to know the risks involved.

For every problem, there is a pill. Our society is always looking for that quick fix. “We have this idea that we can pop a pill and solve everything. It is craziness,” says pharmacologist James Wright of the University of British Columbia (Langreth). The answer to this epidemic is not more prescriptions, it is living clean. Be an example to your child. You can make a difference. Try living clean first, and then turn to other outlets. “Since drug interactions are always a risk, you would be better off living a clean life, avoiding the drugs that can be avoided and saving room in your bloodstream for the real lifesavers.” (Langreth)

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