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Family Guidance Blog

Prescription Drug Abuse on College and University Campuses

Survey Reveals Prescription Drug Abuse Among College Age Youth Has New Triggers

happy group of young people at a university college

happy group of young people at a university college

Young adults often experience their first taste of adult freedom when they head off to college. Perhaps at no other time in life are so many choices presented as during those brief, college years. A recent study asked young people about the choices they face regarding illicit use of controlled substances. The survey found that prescription drug abuse is a choice many are making.

The 2015 College Prescription Drug Study surveyed nearly 4,000 college undergrads, graduate students and professional studies enrollees from both private and public schools in a handful of states. Students were asked how available prescription drugs were on campus, if they had ever personally misused prescription drugs and, if so, for what purpose.

One interesting finding was that young people who engage in prescription drug abuse, do so for a couple of reasons. Today, young people are more likely to misuse drugs in order to self-medicate or just to help them navigate through newly encountered adult life pressures than those of previous years who did so just for recreation.

Prescription drug abuse on college and university campuses is mainly centered around pain medications. A little over half of those surveyed had misused pain medications to control pain, but nearly as many took them to get high. Over half of those who misused sedatives, took them in order to get sleep. Another 18 percent of students had abused stimulant drugs often with the intention of improving academic performance, though this group was made up of mostly undergraduate students.

If you or a young person you care about is living with prescription drug addiction or abuse, know that we can help. At Family Guidance Center, learning positive ways to manage the triggers that can contribute to substance abuse for a lifetime is part of the overall wellness approach we offer.

New Study Finds Many Patients Unclear About Prescription Drug Addiction Risk

Educating Patients on Risks of Prescription Drug Addiction

Pill Addiction 2When you experience a health emergency, a visit to the hospital emergency room may be necessary. Though emergencies can take many forms, one of the leading prescribed drugs in hospital ERs are opioid painkillers. Despite the fact that prescription drug addiction continues to be a serious problem in our country, the powerful painkillers are routinely handed out because they are so effective in treating pain. A new study suggests that many patients receiving those drugs may not be fully aware of the risks involved in using them.

The Northwestern University study learned that 25 percent of patients in the ER don’t realize that opioid drugs are addictive. The other 75 percent of ER patients believe that there is an addiction ris k associated with using prescription painkillers. One quarter of patients is a significant proportion given the gravity of the risk. Researchers say that one way to bring that percentage down would be for doctors and nurses to spend more time dialoging with patients about the facts and risk associated with prescription painkillers.

For their research, investigators used 174 previously gathered patient responses accumulated during a longer and randomized study. The patient subjects had all been to the emergency room and been given a prescription for painkillers that combined acetaminophen and hydrocodone (like Vicodin). Several days later the patients were contacted and asked directly whether or not they considered their pain medication addictive.

The responses given reflect a patient population unclear about the true facts of prescription drug addiction. Many responses were based on personal experience or the words of others. Considering the fact that drug overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes and that 50 percent of those overdoses are linked to prescription drugs, it’s important to educate the public about the risks of prescription drug addiction.

If you or someone you care about has a problem with prescription drugs, help is available. Contact us at Family Guidance Center; we have experience helping countless others.

Prescription Drug Abuse in the United States Continues to Rise

More Americans Die from Prescription Drug Abuse Than Cocaine and Heroin Put Together

Prescription drug abuse remains our nation’s leading drug problem. The Drug Enforcement Agency has just completed a nation-widepresecription drug abuse offensive intended to disrupt the illegal distribution of pharmaceuticals in an effort to stem the plague. Prescription drug abuse is claiming more lives than the use of Heroin and Cocaine combined.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has published data which shows the overdose rates by year for these three drugs (prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine). What you see when you look at those charts is that abuse of prescription medications and heroin has gone up each year since 2001. Cocaine use peaked in 2006 but has now dropped back to rates similar to those in 2001. But prescription drug overdose claims more American lives than the total of heroin and cocaine put together, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most affected by the increases is white males. In the year 2000, older black males were the leading demographic for heroin overdose. But in 2013 young to middle aged white males were most represented. Similarly, in 1999 1.6 white males per 100,000 overdosed on prescription drugs but by 2013 the figure had grown to 6.8 white males per 100,000 who overdosed.

The overdose figures for 2013 were as follows: over 50 percent of the 43,982 overdose fatalities were prescription drug induced, 8,257 were caused by heroin and 4,944 were linked to cocaine use. Each number represents a precious life cut short. If you are engaged in illicit drug use, don’t wait to get help.

Perhaps you’ve tried to break your prescription drug abuse habit but were unsuccessful. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it – only that for breaking the abuse cycle it is important that you seek professional help. Contact us at Family Guidance Center. We can help you begin your journey to recovery.

Prescription Drug Abuse on the Rise in the Workplace

Professionals Look for the Competitive Edge With Prescription Drug Abuse

In a culture where the population is encouraged to combat the appearance of aging, to not accept the effects of aging or to be anything less thanpill addiction their full potential it’s hard to miss the message. Everyone should look young, feel young and perform above average.

However, the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) prescription drug abuse phenomenon taking place in America is not a problem primarily among older generations but among professionals still in their 20s and 30s.

They are taking the stimulant medications to help them appear sharp during job interviews, to fuel long work hours and to find a competitive edge. Many of these professionals may have started taking ADHD medication when they were children.

It is estimated that 60 percent of those diagnosed with the condition during childhood are now adults with ADHD. However, with the attention given to ADHD, more and more adults are seeking an ADHD diagnosis from their physician.

It’s been reported that from 2008-2012 the number of U.S. adults being prescribed ADHD medication increased by over 50 percent in some places. By comparison, the number of U.S. kids being prescribed these drugs went up just under 19 percent. The question is, are more adults with the condition being discovered and treated or are adults engaging in prescription drug abuse?
Adult ADHD can be real, but if you are caught in a trap of stimulant prescription drug abuse, it’s possible to break free. At Family Guidance Center we help adults every day to find the strength to live drug-free. Call us. You don’t have to be perfect in order to be happy. Let us show you how to break free from the cycle of prescription drug abuse.

Prescription Drug Addiction Slowing Down Except Among the Elderly

Why Prescription Drug Addiction Among the Elderly Continues to Rise

As a person ages they face different health challenges in each stage of life. As older people face weakening health and undergo more medicalprescription drug addiction treatments and procedures compared to younger individuals, they often take more medications. As these medications increase, they are increasingly becoming ensnared in prescription drug addiction.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that while deaths from prescription painkillers, known as opioids, have leveled off in every other age bracket, there has been a six-fold rise in opioid overdose deaths among those 55-74 years old. How can this be and how is it that prescription drug addiction can be going unnoticed in this age group?

One reason may be that some symptoms of addiction may be mistaken for signs of aging. Other times, doctors may be overprescribing to older patients with chronic or terminal illness. It’s also easier for an elderly body to overuse simply because it doesn’t metabolize drugs as efficiently as a younger body.

The fact that there are 75 million aging baby boomers in this country means that this problem could easily escalate if it is not addressed soon. However, even when family members recognize addiction or the individual is prepared to ask for help, treatment is not always successful in traditional group settings. Experience is showing that older rehab patients may need to be treated separately from younger patients in order to get the best results.

At Family Guidance Center we can help you when you have an elderly loved one who is abusing prescription drugs. We have experience helping family members of all ages to overcome dependence on substances. Call us soon.