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The Myths About Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

There has been an alarming increase in prescription drug abuse reported by teens in recent years and that increase may be due in part to some of the myths surrounding the use of prescription drugs.

Misuse of prescription drugs is illegal and dangerous, but according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education many teens aren't getting the message about the risks involved or they are getting incorrect information from their peers.

Here are some of the myths surrounding teen prescription drug abuse:

Myth: Prescription Drugs Are Safer Than Illegal Drugs
When your friends try to convince you that taking a prescription pill is safe, ask yourself, "How would they know?" The drug may not have affected them, but it just might be harmful for you.

Myth: Using Prescription Drugs Is Legal
You may have heard that, unlike underage drinking and marijuana use, using and sharing prescription drugs is legal. That simply is not the truth.

Myth: Teens Get Prescription Drugs From Street Dealers
Another myth surrounding the growing trend of teens abusing prescription drugs is that they get them from drug dealers. The truth is much closer to home.

Myth: It's Okay If You Only Do Drugs Occasionally
One misconception connected to the increase in drug abuse by teens is that using drugs is safe as long as you only do it every once in a while.

Myth: Everyone Is Doing It
One reason teens decide to start smoking marijuana, doing drugs or drinking alcohol is because they think that "everyone" is doing it. National surveys tell a different story.

Myth: My Child Would Never Do Drugs
Parents simply don't want to believe that their children will become involved in the use of drugs, prescription or illegal, but the truth is more than 43 percent of high school seniors report having used drugs at least once in their lifetime.

The facts are prescription drugs can be just as dangerous and just as addictive as illegal street drugs. You can die from abusing prescription drugs even the first time you ever try them.

Talk to your children about the risks involved in abusing drugs. Research shows that teens who are educated at home about the risks of drug use are 50% less likely to use drugs than teens who are not taught about the dangers at home.


National Council on Patient Information and Education 

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