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�What do Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith, and Brad Renfro all have in common?� Death from a combination of medications prescribed by their doctors.� Those same doctors that took the Hippocratic Oath, "Above All, Do No Harm."� Interesting, to say the least.With�prescription drug abuse on the rise (SAMHSA, 2006), and the ever present news of another celebrity death from mixing a deadly cocktail of prescription medications prescribed to them by their "doctors," one would think that parents would be more responsible with how they store their own prescription medications.� However, such is not the case, and that is precisely why prescription drug abuse is on the rise.� Adolescents consistently report getting their "stash" from their parent/grandparents' medicine cabinets.According to The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) (2006), more than three in five teens, between the ages of 12-17,�say that they get their prescription pain medications from their parents' medicine cabinets, half of those teens also report that it's easy to get the medications from other people's prescriptions, and even more than half of those teens reveal that prescription pain medications are "everywhere."One of the common myths that teens have bought into is the idea that prescription pain medications are safe because they provide a "medically safe high" (Friedman, 2006).� What is even more alarming is that three out of 10 teens�believe that prescription pain medications are not addictive (PATS, 2006), when in fact they are sometimes more addicting and more socially acceptable (Seventeen, 2006).Sadly, prescription drug abuse has increased dramatically in the past 10 years which has seen a 300 percent increase in the number of teens going into treatment for their addiction to prescription pain medications (TEDS, 2006).� With the additional ability to purchase prescription drugs from the internet, these numbers are sure to rise in the coming years.What parents can do is make every attempt to keep an open dialogue going with their teens.� When news of another celebrity's untimely death, allegedly from prescription medications,�fills the media airwaves for days, it provides for a starting point where parents can ask their kids about what they think and how they feel.� However, remember that if asked�how they feel, one should allow them to freely share without judgments or concerns.��Teens should�know that it is okay for them to share their opinions without being "grilled."Furthermore, parents should know�their teens; know what they do with their time and what they do on the internet.� Additionally, being informed on prescription medication uses and abuses and warning signs will be greatly beneficial if ever needed.� Below are facts, taken from the National Institute on Drug Abuse,�about prescription medications most commonly abused:Prescription drugs most commonly abused include three classes: opioids, central nervous system (CNS)�depressants and stimulants.Opioids are prescribed to alleviate pain.

Examples include oxycodone (Oxycontin), propoxyphene (Darvon), hydrocodone (Vicodin), hydromorphan (Dilaudid), and meperidine (Demerol).CNS depressants slow normal brain function and are used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders.� In higher doses, some CNS depressants can become general anesthetics.� Tranquilizers and sedatives are examples of CND depressants and include barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, Phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax), and flunitrazepam (Rohypnol).Stimulants increase alertness, attention and energy, which are accompanied by increased blood pressure, heart rate and respiration.� Stimulants are prescribed to treat narcolepsy, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and depression that has not responded to other treatments.� Examples of prescription stimulants include amphetamines (Adderall, Vyvanse, Biphetamine, Dexedrine), cocaine (Cocaine Hydrochloride), methamphetamine (Desoxyn), and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta).Note: Brand name is in parentheses while generic is not.� For example, amphetamine is the generic name and Adderall is a brand name.�Dextromethorphan (DXM), also known on the street as "Triple C's" or "Skittles", is a cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cough and cold remedies.For more information, please visit the links section titled, Helpful Links for Parents.ReferencesFriedman, R.


The changing face of teenage drug abuse: The trend toward prescription drugs.

The New England�� Journal of Medicine.National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

(2009). Retrieved on June 28, 2009.Partnership for a Drug-Free America, The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS).

(2006).� Retrieved June 28, 2009.Seventeen Magazine.


March Issue.Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

(2006)� Retrieved June 28, 2009.Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions by Primary Substance of�Abuse According to Sex, Age Group, Race,�and Ethnicity, 2004 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS).

(2006).�Retrieved June 28, 2009.
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