Tag: stimulants

How Do You Get Addicted to Prescription Drugs?

Parents’ Medicine Cabinets are Drug Dealers!

There are a million ways people end up addicted to drugs. Boredom, peer pressure, addiction runs in the family…the list goes on and on.

how do you get addicted to prescription pills

There’s one way in particular, though, that many adolescents and young adults end up addicted to prescription drugs. I’m talking about swiping them from friends and family, about the newest drug dealer – your medicine cabinet.

Look, I don’t want to sound melodramatic, but the risk of young people taking painkillers, benzo’s, or stimulants from family members’ medicine cabinets is a very real danger.

Consider that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 23% of all teenager painkiller abusers get the drugs from friends of relatives. While not all of these will be taken from an unsuspecting bathroom, a large portion will.

It’s vital that parents do everything they can to keep prescription drugs from their children. It’s that simple. So, with that in mind, find some easy to implement tips below!

Officials can’t figure out why people are overdosing…

Talk to Your Children

This is the first step many parents and loved ones take – and for good reason! There’s no better way to educate adolescents about prescription opioid or benzo abuse than to talk to them openly and honestly.

If you experimented with drugs or alcohol in the past, don’t hide it. Rather, use your experiences to highlight the dangers inherent to drug abuse and addiction. It won’t be an easy conversation, but it may be just what your teen needs to hear!

Of course, talking only goes so far. Maybe you have a child who’s actively using. Maybe they’ve started down that path and aren’t too far-gone. That’s where this next tip comes in.

Lock Your Meds Up

Prescription medication is incredibly dangerous. Consider that opioids now kill more people each year than car crashes, murders, or plane crashes. Consider that every day, every single day, forty-four people die from a prescription opioid overdose.

For those reasons and many others, it’s a good idea to lock up your medicine. This is true for medication you’re currently taking and for older, expired pills you may still have.

Following this line of thinking, it’s also a good idea to lock up your liquor cabinet. It isn’t easy to do either of these and it may hurt your child’s feelings (“what do you mean you can’t trust me?”), but it may also save a life.

What’s more important?

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Dispose of Meds Properly

Remember those old, expired pills I just mentioned? Well, it’s a good idea to get rid of them instead of keeping them around.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to dispose of unused pills though. For example, don’t flush them down the toilet. While that removes the pills from your house, it also contaminates local water supplies.

Did you know that male fish in Canada have actually developed female sexual tissue as a result of women flushing birth control pills down the toilet? It may sound funny, but I promise you I’m not joking. There have been studies done that confirm the dangers of flushing medication.

There are numerous guidelines on how to best dispose of old meds. Find some from the FDA here.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do to keep your children safe from prescription opioids, benzodiazepines, and the like. All that matters is you’re doing something.

Taking the first step is often the hardest. If you’re struggling with a child abusing drugs, reach out for help! There are hundreds of options across the country. There’s one that’ll be perfect for your family’s particular situation.

The largest painkiller operation ever was just carried out by the DEA!

How to Tell if Your Child is Using Pills

Is Your Child Using Pills?

Facing the fact that your child may be using pills isn’t easy. A child using any drugs is among the list of things parents hope never to hear. Still, as the prescription pill epidemic grows, a child or loved one using pills is difficult to ignore.

Deaths due to prescription pill overdose now outnumber deaths due to automobile accidents. That’s a pretty frightening fact. It also makes it vitally important to learn if your child or loved one is abusing pills.

is my child using pills

Fortunately, that’s where we at Lighthouse can offer a helping hand. We’ve compiled a list of the signs and effects of all types of pill use. Find detailed information and learn if your child, family member, or loved one is abusing pills today!

Learn more about opioid pills and their dangerous side effects

Signs of Pill Use

Find a list of signs common to various pills below:

• Opioids – these are a family of depressants that mimic the effects of heroin and other naturally occurring opiates. Opioid pills include: Codeine, Vicodin, Percocet, OxyContin, Roxicodone, morphine, methadone, and Suboxone. Signs of opioid use include: nodding off, small or pinned pupils, excessive scratching, constipation, and possession of opioid paraphernalia (pill crushers, tinfoil, empty pill bottles, and syringes).

• Benzo’s – these are a family of tranquilizers and anti-anxiety agents. Popular benzo’s include: Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin, and Rohypnol. Signs of benzo use include: disorientation, slurred speech, trouble walking, and possession of benzo paraphernalia (pill crushers, straws or rolled up bills, and empty pill bottles).

• Stimulants – stimulant pills are a class of drug that give users energy, alertness, and feelings of confidence. They include: Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, Dexedrine, and Desoxyn. Signs of stimulant use include: excessive energy followed by a “crash,” dilated pupils, lack of appetitive, grinding of the teeth or jaw, and stimulant paraphernalia (similar to the paraphernalia listed above).

• OTC pills – these are over the counter pills which can be purchased legally in pharmacies and supermarkets. OTC pills include DXM capsules, pseudoephedrine, and diet pills. Signs of OTC pill use include: disorientation, excessive energy, lack of appetite, and possession of OTC pill paraphernalia (similar to other paraphernalia listed above).

Learn more about DXM abuse, diet pills, and pseudoephedrine.

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Effects of Pills

Find a list of effects common to various pills below:

• Opioids – opioids are CNS depressants. As such, they decrease the functions of almost every major organ in the body. They produce euphoria, dull pain, make users drowsy, slow respiration and heart rate, cause constipation, and produce physical withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include: sweating, shaking, dysphoria, diarrhea, vomiting, Restless Leg Syndrome, bone pain, and muscle pain.

• Benzo’s – benzo’s are CNS depressants and, like opioids, they decrease functioning of most organs. They activate the brain’s GABA receptors and closely mimic the effects of alcohol. They produce euphoria, decrease respiration and heart rate, make users drowsy, confused, and disoriented. Benzo’s are also physically addictive and have a host of nasty withdrawal symptoms. These include: shaking, sweating, depression, anxiety, seizure, and heart failure.

• Stimulants – stimulants, as the name implies, are CNS stimulants. They increase the rate at which the body sends and receives messages. They produce euphoria, decrease appetite, and give users bursts of energy. They also put significant strain on the heart and kidneys. Stimulants aren’t physically addictive, but do produce a mental withdrawal. This includes strong drug cravings, extreme depression, and sleeping for extended periods of time.

• OTC pills – over the counter pills affect the body in different ways. DXM is a CNS depressant, while pseudoephedrine and diet pills are CNS stimulants. DXM produces euphoria, hallucinations, disorientation, and confusion. Pseudoephedrine and diet pills produce euphoria, energy, and alertness. Much like stimulants, they also put strain on the heart and other major organs. OTC pills don’t produce physical withdrawals, but do cause depression and anxiety to occur after stopping their use.

Why is benzo withdrawal so dangerous?

What Do I Do if My Child is Using Pills?

what do i do if my child is using pills

If your child or loved one is using pills, the first thing to do is find out which pills they’re using. Your course of action depends on what specific pills your child has access to. After all, the effects of opioids and stimulants are very different. Therefore, seeking help for each is different.

After learning what pills your child or loved one is abusing, it’s a good idea to gather more information. If they’re using opioids or benzo’s – are they physically addicted? If they’re using stimulants of OTC pills – how long have they been using? Regardless of which pills your child is using – how are they obtaining them? Do they want to stop? If so, what’s the best course of action?

Finally, reach out to professionals. This can be as simple as calling your family doctor. It can also take the form of speaking to a treatment center. To that end, call Lighthouse. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Call us today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or1-(561)-381-0015.

We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Click below to speak to a member of our staff directly.