Narconon Survey Confirms Pervasive Prescription Drug Abuse by Young Americans

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Prescription drugs are so addictive that when teens begin to abuse them, they can quickly spiral into high levels of abuse and addiction. Parents often need help to know how to start fighting this trend.

At Narconon International, we are doing everything we can to help, including publishing a variety of guides to help parents eliminate the possibility of drug abuse or addiction among their children.”

According to the Partnership at Drugfree.org, there are more teens misusing and abusing prescription drugs than ever before. In April 2013, this non-profit organization published their annual Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey (PATS) that showed that one in four American teens has misused or abused a prescription drug. This figure increased 33% over the prior five years. To verify this information, the records of rehab admissions at the Narconon Arrowhead rehabilitation facility were combed to determine how many young admissions fit this pattern. An overwhelming 89% of young adults who were admitted to this rehab reported prescription drug abuse and addiction – usually years of this addictive habit.

These admissions were part of a larger tabulation of the drug abuse history of treatment admissions. Those selected out were between the ages of 18 and 22 years of age when they arrived. The lists of prescription drugs that had been abused at this tender age were astonishing. Drug abuse histories like these were all-too typical:

C was a 21-year-old male whose major addiction was to opiates. He had abused them daily for three years before arriving at Narconon Arrowhead. He'd tried cocaine but it caused him to have seizures. The list of opiates he had abused included methadone, Lortab, OxyContin, Darvocet, fentanyl, tramadol, Norco, Percocet, codeine, Subutex and Suboxone. In previous attempts to get sober, he had been given Xanax, Seroquel, Klonopin and Ativan in detox facilities. C had received tickets for 15 major driving violations and had been charged with three DUIs.

K was a 22-year-old female who had been abusing opiates for ten years when she arrived at Narconon Arrowhead. Her list included heroin, morphine, Dilaudid, Percocet, Demerol, Darvon, Darvocet, codeine, OxyContin, Subutex, Suboxone, opium, hydrocodone, tramadol, Norco and Lortab. A few days a month, she added Xanax, Klonopin or Valium. She had also abused methamphetamine, Ritalin and Adderall. At one point, she had a $900/day drug habit. She made money taking people to unscrupulous doctors so she could acquire pills that could be sold to other addicts.

"Many of these prescription drugs are so addictive that it does not take much abuse before a young person totally loses the power of choice," said Clark Carr, president of Narconon International. "Once this trap slams shut, these young people may quickly spiral down into horrifying levels of drug use or even death. But we have found that even these cases can recover, when given enough time and a thorough enough approach to recovery."

The PATS survey also showed that only 16 percent of parents discuss the dangers of prescription painkillers and even fewer discuss other types of prescription drugs. To help parents know how to start talking to their children about these drugs, Narconon International has created a guide called Ten Things Parents May Not Know about Prescription Drug Abuse. This free downloadable guide can be obtained at http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/10-things-prescription-drugs.html.

"It's not easy to protect your children from abuse of drugs and alcohol," added Carr. "At Narconon International, we are doing everything we can to help, including publishing a variety of guides to help parents eliminate the possibility of drug abuse or addiction among their children."

In addition to the guide on prescription drug abuse, there are others advising parents on what they need to know about marijuana, recommending ways to protect children from drug abuse over the summer and helping families who are dealing with addiction to know what to do. These new Narconon® materials are available on http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/parent-center.html.

For more information on Narconon, call 1-800-775-8750 or visit http://www.narconon.org.

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Clark Carr
Narconon International
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