By David Joel Miller.
Grandparents are some teens drug supplier of choice.
Grandmas. along with grandpas, mothers and dads are becoming the major suppliers of illicit drugs for today’s teens. Grandma may not know it yet, but the drugs she supplied could put her grandkids in the hospital emergency room. This hasn’t happened just once; it has occurred repeatedly all across America. Teens are getting their drug supplies by raiding the old people’s medicine cabinets and dresser drawers.
This is not an isolated incident. Abuse of prescription medications, popping the old folk’s pills, is replacing Methamphetamine as the drug of choice for today teens in many places across America.
Kids have always raided the old folk’s stash, purloined the liquor and smoked dads weed, but this is different and more ominous. Kids are ending up in emergency rooms from overdoses of unknown prescription medication. Frequently the teens don’t know what they have taken. Not the pharmaceutical names or the consequences. With the rapid increase in prescription drugs on the market the standard drug tests don’t begin to detect all the life threatening drugs or combinations teens may have taken.
Combine unknown prescription drugs with alcohol or the new synthetic drugs and the results can be fatal. The casualties add up at an ever more rapid rate. Today’s teens are more likely to become addicted to prescription painkillers than to illegal street drugs.
The liver may work hard, but put alcohol in the blood stream and that poor little liver is overwhelmed. It just can’t cope with all those pills. Lots of bad things including death can happen.
We try to control this. At least I hope doctors are trying. When they see someone who is abusing prescription drugs, or just that grandma is using too many, they may not write more prescriptions. Grandchild’s supply may dry up.
Deprive a hooked person of their prescription Opiates or Opioids and it is a short progression to the illegal ones. You can buy the pills on the street, but Vicodin and Oxycodone sold at the bus stop don’t come cheap.
Teens in my town have caught on to smoking heroin to avoid the withdrawal symptoms from the prescribed opiates. Smoking heroin gets expensive fast. They soon find that most of the potency goes up in smoke. So the new connection, the one grandma never expected, is all too ready to show the new addict how to assemble a rig and how to shoot up a vein.
There is a solution to the problem of keeping kids out of the old folk’s pills. Lock the meds up and keep the key a secret. Unfortunately, we older types forget where we put the key. We also don’t remember that there are leftover meds for all sorts of things, in cabinets, drawers and on the kitchen table. We used to have to take these pills but stopped taking them. We still have pills left.
Some people try flushing them down the toilet. Not recommended. It does all sorts of things to the environment. There are other ways I have heard of, but I won’t tell you about those ways here as they are also not recommended.
There is a much better solution. Surrender unused medication at the next:
A list of the collection sites is found at: Collection sites.
Please consider – This is no small thing!
Over the last 13 months, the American public has turned in almost 500 TONS of unneeded prescription drugs. That is – for us non-math majors just short of ONE MILLION POUNDS of drugs that were lying around the house. These were drugs that might have ended up sending your kids or grandkids to the hospital emergency room or worse.
Please turn your unneeded drugs in and don’t become the next grandma drug connect.
This post was featured in “Best of Blog – May 2012”
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books