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Prescription Drugs & the Teenage Brain

Healthy Living


Community Partner Logo 22 FINAL 1Brought to you by: Community Partner COMPACT,

Did you know that the younger the brain when drugs are first tried, the greater the risk from moving from drug use to drug addiction? According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 15% of high school students have misused prescription drugs in the past year. When used as prescribed, prescription drugs are highly effective in managing pain and treating diseases. When not taken as prescribed, they can be deadly and lead to lifelong addiction. 

The 3 Most Misused Prescription Drugs

  1. Opioids such as morphine and hydrocodone are prescribed for pain relief.
  2. Central nervous depressants, such as valium and Xanax, work by slowing brain function and causing feelings of drowsiness and calmness.
  3. Stimulants, such as Ritalin and Adderall, cause increased alertness, attention and energy. 

Each class of drug has its own appeal which leads to the potential misuse then to possible lifelong addiction. At Compact, our goal is to arm you with this information so you can ask your physician the appropriate questions when or if your teen is prescribed one of these potentially addictive drugs. 

What are the most common ways teens have access to these potentially dangerous drugs? Social media provides easy access through many apps that are believed to be untraceable. Innocent emojis and code words make it difficult for parents to recognize that their children are having talks right in their presence. 

Do you know what’s in your medicine cabinet? Does your teen know what’s in there? Where do you store your medicine and your old medicine? Home is the main source for teens to get these prescription drugs.

The DEA’s National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, October 29. Drop off locations will be set up for individuals to turn in any unused, unwanted, or out-of-date medications. For more information on this topic and for prescription drop box locations, visit us on Facebook @Compact2020 or call 205-605-1827. †

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