More and more students are abusing prescription drugs. The statistics are staggering: prescription drugs are the most abused drugs among 12 and 13 year olds—7th and 8th graders.
Ingesting or selling a medication that has not been prescribed to you is a crime. In fact, sharing a prescription medication that has been prescribed to you with another person is a crime. Middle and high-schoolers are participating in this type of activity on a regular basis, and much of the time, they do not even know what type of pill they are taking. Students are popping pills in classrooms and school bathrooms. Outside of school, kids are taking pills at parties, called “skittles” or “pharm parties” where prescription pills are thrown in a bowl, passed out to party goers, and often combined with alcohol.
There are lots of reasons why youth and teens are abusing prescription drugs. An obvious reason is the ease in which kids can access these drugs—all they have to do is open their parent’s medicine cabinet. Kids also see their parents taking prescription drugs, whether it be a situation where the parent is recovering from surgery or an accident, or in other instances to deal with depression or stress. The more frequently they see their parents taking prescription drugs as a part of their daily routine may also send the message that pills are OK. Also, kids tend to mistakenly believe that prescription drugs are less harmful than other “harder” drugs. Some of the drugs that are being widely abused include xanax, percocet and valium.
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.