Tagging on to my last post…
According to a study in the new Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one in eight (13%) American high school seniors admit to having used prescription pain medications–like codeine, vicodin, or oxycontin–that were either left over from a previous medical condition or not prescribed for them at all. Sadly, some of these teens go on to become drug-dependent mothers, with all the dangers to themselves and their babies that come with addiction.
From the article, summarized in Reuters Health:
“Most of the kids who used the drugs recreationally had previously been prescribed them for a medical condition. Teens may be using their own leftover medication for pain or recreational purposes, or may get painkillers from family members or friends who were prescribed the drugs, researchers said.”
A popular place for teens to find prescription painkillers is in the medicine chest of a grandparent or other elderly person. I often speak to grandparents in my practice, and the discussion about properly disposing of old prescription drugs raises quite a few eyebrows. Narcotic abuse isn’t something most grandparents think about when the think of “childproofing” their homes.