Prescription drug abuse among teens has climbed to an alarming rate. This fact has gotten health experts and law enforcement authorities worried as more and more kids are falling victims to the problem.
For Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force member and Irvington police officer Detective Kevin Johnson, the problem is so rampant that recorded violations against drugs and alcohol possession by teens and young adults has increased over the years; they have even caught kids with anti-anxiety medications and painkillers that should only be given to legitimate patients.
“It’s a huge problem, especially in these affluent towns,” Detective Johnson said. “We’re seeing it a lot more than before, and it seems as if parents don’t care about it nearly as much as having their kids do illegal drugs.”
Even pharmacists are also alarmed due to the massive amount of painkillers, anti-anxiety medications, and sleeping tabs that have been dispensed since the country fell into recession in 2008.
Yet the problem of prescription drug abuse is still taken for granted by most people. The proof is best illustrated when the Dobbs Fery PTSA organized a forum last May and despite inviting substance abuse counselors and youth officers, only a few parents attended which was a big disappointment for the organizers.
Detective Johnson explains the probable reason why the expected turnout of parents was not reached during the event. Parents usually become the source of these prescription medications which often end up misused by their kids.
“I think parents are, for the most part, turning a blind eye to it and thinking ‘It couldn’t be my kid doing this,’” Johnson said. “But I think many would be surprised. I think it will take a death from overdose or mixing with alcohol or a kid driving off the road from taking these drugs that will have to be the wake-up call. It’s a sad reality.”