According to drugabuse.gov, prescription abuse among teens is a growing problem. There are many reasons teens may take drugs. While getting high is on the list, some take them because they think it will help them do better in school or sports or lose weight.
Most teens don't buy prescription drugs; They get them from friends or relatives. This often happens when family members have leftover prescription drugs sitting in medicine cabinets.
One of the reasons prescription drug abuse among teens is such a concern is that use of certain opioids may lead to heroin use.
According to drugabuse.gov, Opioid pain relievers such as OxyContin® attach to the same cell receptors targeted by illegal opioids like heroin. That means that medications such as Oxycontin® and Vicodin® can have effects similar to heroin when abused.
Also according to drugabuse.gov, in surveys, almost half of young people who inject heroin reported that they were abusing prescriptions opioids before they started using heroin.
The heroin epidemic is so serious in our community that NBC12 News has decided to dedicate our resources to reporting on this problem all month in February during our Hooked on Heroin: Special Reports. For all coverage go to nbc12.com/hookedonheroin
How can you help keep your teens safe? You can take your leftover prescription drugs to a safe medication kiosk.
Walgreens has made this incredibly easy for people in and around Richmond with 2 kiosks that are available 24/7.