Kids these days are grabbing more than band aids in their parent's medicine cabinet...they are taking prescription painkillers as well.
The rate of prescription pain killer abuse is growing rapidly and a new study says it's 40% higher than previous generations making it the second most common type of illegal drug use after marijuana.
- 129% increase in ER visits between 2004 and 2009
- More than 500% increase in the number of people seeking treatment for addiction to prescription painkillers between 1997 and 2007
- And 3 times more accidental overdose deaths between the 1990's and 2007.
What's contributing to the rise in abuse? Kids can get their hands on painkillers like Vicodin, Valium and Oxycontin much easier. All they have to do is look inside their parent's medicine cabinet. There are more prescriptions written for these medicines than ever before.
According to the National Survey on Drug use and Health, 40 million painkiller prescriptions were written in 1991...in 2007 it was nearly 180 million.
The best way to stop prescription painkiller abuse starts with you. Lock your medicine cabinet and hide the key. There is no reason for your child to be in there in the first place.
I'm Dr. Sue with The
Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.