Prescription Drugs and Oxycodone Products
The Student Support Services Department will be sharing information through school newsletters to help raise awareness in the areas of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use (ATOD) and violence prevention. This first article focuses on Oxycodone products since the abuse of prescription drugs has been rising at an alarming rate. According to data collected by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the abuse of prescription drugs is occurring in children as young as age 12. This dangerous and potentially fatal trend is at the forefront of concern for parents, school officials, and community members.
As a parent, you may have spoken to your child about illegal drugs and their harmful effects but did you know that legally prescribed medications are the number one choice of drugs for youth today? The easiest way for youth to obtain prescription medications are from their friends or their parents’ medicine cabinets. It is so common that it may even happen in your own home.
WHAT PARENTS SHOULD KNOW
WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL WARNING SIGNS?
OxyContin is a very powerful time-released medication that is to be taken under close supervision of a physician. It is prescribed for high to moderate pain relief. Using the drug without the supervision of a physician or for the purposes other than its intended use can lead to serious and adverse consequences, including death from accidental overdose. When abused, tablets are crushed and snorted, chewed, injected, or smoked. Most individuals who abuse OxyContin and other Oxycodone products, including Percocet, Tylox, and Percodan, seek to gain euphoric effects. As with most opioids, these drugs are classified as narcotics, are highly addictive, and have a high potential for abuse. Sadly, nearly one in five teens report abusing prescription medications to get high, according to the National Council on Patient Information and Education.
While it is important to properly secure prescription drugs that are currently being used by family members, it is equally important to conduct a periodic review of medicine cabinet contents to identify out-dated or unnecessary prescriptions. To address the disposal issue, the San Diego Police Department and Sheriff’s Department provide drop off sites for unwanted medicines. Residents can take their old or unused prescription drugs to designated law enforcement drop off stations and deposit the medications into a secure lock box.
Talk to your children about the serious effects of prescription drugs. Remember that this is NOT about children mistakenly taking the wrong prescription medication or the wrong dose. This is about children intentionally using prescription drugs to get high. Listen to what your children have to say, and listen closely. You will learn a lot about what they think and already know about prescription and other drugs. Learn as much as you can about the abuse of prescription drugs. It is okay if you do not have all the answers. The most important thing is to have an open dialogue about all drugs and your expectations regarding their use.
There are many sources of good information and websites available such as Drugfree.org; oxywatchdog.com; www.family.samsha.gov; and others. For more information on “What Parents Need to Know” and “What are some the Physical Warning Signs?”