You CAN live a SOBER LIFE again - CALL NOW for treatment options
1-800-259-1361

Prescription Drug Abuse Raises Suicide Risk in Teens

 

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise with around 53 million people, including children over age 12, abusing prescription drugs at least once. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), at least 1 in 12 high school seniors admitted to using the pain medication Vicodin for recreation in 2010. There are also some reports of teens abusing prescription drugs like pain pills or anti-anxiety pills when faced with emotional hardships. As such, experts assert that abusing these drugs is leading towards an increased risk of suicide in teen boys and girls, especially if they are abusing antidepressants or stimulants.

Prescription Drugs Can Be Addictive

People tend to use prescription drugs in order to manage emotions or relieve pain, but it often backfires through unforeseen psychological hardships. Research conducted by top experts in the field of psychology prove a connection between prescription drug abuse and an increase in teen suicides across the world.

Prescription drugs are among the most commonly abused addictive substances in the United States. One in every four abusers is an adolescent and experts say they cause psychopathological effects such as depression and anxiety. These feelings can become so intense that some teenagers may feel the only way out is to commit suicide. The 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveals that the severity of prescription drug abuse was a strong determinant of suicidal ideation: 23 percent of respondents who self-reported symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of prescription opioid use disorder within one year before the survey had considered self-destruction.

The imbalance created by prescription drugs can be difficult to treat and therefore represents a growing problem for all teenagers, even when they cease taking the substances. Researchers say it can affect their psychological reality in a negative way.

Correlation Between Prescription Drugs and Suicide

A recent study performed by Dr. Zullig and Amanda Divin from the US Department of Health Sciences, compared the connection between prescription drugs and suicide. They collected data from more than 4,000 teens from five different schools. Around 20 percent reported using one or more prescription drugs to relieve emotional distress.

When researchers compared the teenagers to their peers who do not use prescription drugs at all, the results were shocking. Users were much more likely to feel emotions connected with depression and other similar psychopathological conditions. The users also reported feeling hopeless and alone every day and many of them even reported that they contemplated suicide.

The study also found that since teenagers undergo many changes both socially and psychologically, prescription drugs represent a way to dull out the least comfortable of those. In addition, the study shows teenagers turn toward substance abuse without the awareness of multiple negative effects that can haunt them for years to come. The most common drugs abused by adolescents include painkillers like oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet) and hydrocodone (Vicodin).

This study not only exposes the facts about this problem, but shines a light on the entire generation who endangers their lives through prescription drug abuse. Steven Klee, Brookdale Hospital’s chief psychologist, commented on these findings by saying:

“The admitted numbers of both NMUPD and depression/suicide are high and therefore interesting. The fact that these adolescents may not have the knowledge of resources to treat their affective symptoms is worth noting. I would think that the best recommendations from this study would be for clinicians to do a better job screening for NMUPD and for depression/suicidal behaviors in all adolescents referred for treatment and to somehow increase screenings in schools to try and catch those students who are troubled, but not yet referred for treatment.”

Klee also mentions that in addition to teens self-medicating for depression or anxiety, some are even abusing prescription drugs as part of the youth culture scene with various parties and gatherings having plenty of pills to choose from for what is perceived as “recreational fun.”

Regardless of the reason for the substance abuse, it is important for parents and healthcare clinicians to screen youth that are coming in for prescription medication. Ask them the tough questions like, “Are you addicted?” or “How are you really doing emotionally? Do you ever think about suicide?” Then, readily be able to offer rehabilitative and psychological help for those that need it.

Sources:

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-drugs/director

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/855920

Ibid

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/855920

http://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2013/03/thoughts-suicide-may-persist-among-nonmedical-prescription-opiate-users

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-adolescent-substance-use-disorder-treatment-research-based-guide/frequently-asked-questions/what-drugs-are-most-frequently-used-by-adolescents


“Dominica-Applegate”Dominica Applegate is dedicated to the art of self-discovery and creative expression with a passion for creative art. She’s got a deep-rooted passion for helping others heal emotional pain and trauma, as her own journey through love addiction has served as a catalyst for her own healing and beautiful transformation. Find out more at www.dominicaapplegate.com.

Related Articles

Athlete Substance Addiction and Abuse For a high school student, having athletic skill and a talent for competitive sports can be thrilling and can potentially lead to a free college education through an athletic scholarship. For a colleg...
Prescription Opioid Abuse Legislation, CARA, Gaining Ground Prescription Drug Abuse Is a Growing Problem Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused class of drugs in the United States. Although most people only take prescription drugs that are pres...
What You Should Know About 12-Step Programs According to a 2013 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 46,5000 people die annually from drug-related deaths and almost 30,000 die each year from alcohol-induced deaths....
Which Comes First: Mental Health or Addiction? The broad and ever-changing landscape of mental health and addictions programs can be overwhelming. When considering treatment options, even concepts as basic as “dual diagnosis treatment” can leave o...
Buprenorphine Implant Approved for Opioid Dependence The first-of-its-kind buprenorphine implant was approved by the Food and Drug Administration last week and it is expected to curb craving and withdrawal symptoms for opioids for up to six months. ...
Addiction Treatment Centers: What to Look For If you are suffering from an addiction, seeking treatment from an accredited and licensed treatment center can help you on your road to recovery. There are plenty of options available depending on the...
Drugs and Prison, What Can Be Done to Change the Statistics? There is an undeniable link between crime and substance abuse. Drugs are directly or indirectly responsible for many types of crime. Even when crimes are not explicitly substance-related, a high perce...
Why Are Some People More Susceptible to Addiction than Others? Researchers in the field of substance abuse have discovered that specific risk factors make certain individuals more susceptible to addiction than others. These factors know no boundaries regarding ge...
Jack Black Recalls Cocaine Addiction, Finds Recovery Though Acting Jack Black, while promoting his new Goosebumps movie role as an author that wrestles with his demons, recalled his own dark past with cocaine addiction. The actor and comedian revealed to Parade ma...
House Passes CARA Bill to Fight Opioid Epidemic The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) Friday in a unanimous vote of 407-5 to fight the opioid epidemic. With existing support from the Senate, th...
How to Stay in Recovery People can become addicted to a wide range of substances, and this includes alcohol, prescription medications and illegal substances alike. Many who develop an addiction will seek treatment through in...
Hypnosis for Addictions Like many people, my first impressions of hypnosis were on TV, on stage, and in the movies, where it was used almost exclusively for entertainment. It wasn’t until I studied therapeutic hypnosis in gr...