(949) 891-2127


2738 Camino Capistrano, Ste. #1
San Clemente, CA 92672
Child and Adolescent Counseling Blog for Lisa Klipfel, MFT
Teen Talk: What Prescription Drugs are Teens Taking These Days?

Parents should be concerned about prescription drug use, as it is on the rise, especially in Orange County. The most common prescription pill usage is pain relievers, (CNS) depressants, sleeping pills and stimulants. They are widely prescribed to adults for a multitude of reasons and teens can easily get a hold of them when adults don't use all of their prescription.

Prescription pain relievers from Vicodin to Oxycontin are in the opioid category. The purpose after a surgery is to make it so you don't feel physical pain. It can cause drowsiness, nausea and slowed breathing. They are highly addictive.

Depressants depress the central nervous system, with the goal to calm people down. Barbituates and benzodiazapines (valium, xanax, ativan) are strong medication. Sleep aides such as Lunesta and Ambien also depress the nervous system. All of this class of medicines are highly addictive.

Lastly, is the prescription stimulants, such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, typically prescribed for ADHD. There have been a shortage of some of these medications, because there has been more regulation for MDs in prescribing these medications. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for a child with ADHD to be prescribed one and then switched to another, leaving a supply available from the unsuspecting parent. These medications speed up the body. Some kids choose them because they think it will help them to concentrate better, while others feel it will help them to lose weight. It is important that if your child has any of these concerns that they discuss them with their doctor.

It's important that kids know that these medications became prescription strength, because they need to be monitored by a MD. The wrong medications together, or specific medications along with specific medical conditions can create permanent damage and/or death. It is important that just because they are prescription, doesn't necessarily mean they are any safer than street drugs.

As a parent, you can help by disposing of unused medicines, or locking them up. Even if your child may not take those medications, one of their friends may consider it if it is out in the open. Keeping those medications unavailable to teen helps reduce prescription drug use overall.

In summary, here are 3 things you can do as a parent of a teen to reduce underage prescription pill consumption.

1. Talk with your kids about not taking pills that you are not prescribed.
2. Explain the health or medical consequences of taking pills you are not prescribed.
3. Dispose of or lock up unused medicine.

If you would like to talk further about these issues with a therapist, contact Lisa Klipfel at (949) 891-2127.

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