Monday, March 21, 2011

Notes from APPLAUDD on Rx Drugs, 3/16/11

March 16, 2011 – Notes from APPLAUDD: A Prevention Program Learning About Underage Drinking & Drugs, Session #2

Our Mission tonight: 1) Why is prescription drug abuse becoming popular? 2) How can we prevent this type of drug abuse?, 3) How do we recognize signs of drug abuse: eye clues, physical symptoms, behavioral changes, 4) How do we talk to our children about drugs?

Thank you, Marilyn, for providing such clear and easy-to-follow powerpoint handouts of your presentation! The handout basically covers most of the important points we discussed. In addition, I noted……

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America conducts annual Partnership Attitude Tracking (PATS) studies. This study shows that of those teens who do choose to abuse illegal drugs, 70% do so the deal with stress in school. Students are self-medicating to cope with the academic, social, and parental pressure they experience in relation to school.

Proper use of Rx medication occurs when your name is on the bottle and you follow doctor’s dosing directions. Otherwise, it is drug abuse, which is illegal.

Teens report that Rx drugs are more accessible to them than tobacco, alcohol or other illegal drugs. Also, one third of teens believe that there is nothing wrong with taking Rx drugs. 1 in 5 teens have abused Rx drugs. That’s good for the 4 out of 5, but very dangerous for those who use.

Most frequently abused prescriptions include
1) painkillers (Percocet, Vicodin, Demerol, Codeine products, Oxycontin),
2) anti-anxiety/tranquilizers/depressants/benzodiazepines
(Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, Atavan)
3) stimulants (Adderall, Concerta, Metadate, Ritalin).

It is not acceptable to self-medicate. If children are stressed or feel there is a problem that needs medicine, tell them that they must come to you first and together you will find the right doctor to get help.

There are strict laws against abusing prescription drugs, either taking someone else’s or taking your own in ways not prescribed by your doctor.

Talk to your children about what happens when people do drugs. Talk about the difference between proper use and abuse of medicines, Rx and over-the-counter. Teens do not understand dosage. They think that if 1 pill is safe, such as an Advil, so is 5. 2 in 5 teens believe that taking someone else’s prescription drugs is safer than using illegal drugs.

Sleepovers need to come to an end in the teen years. Too much potential for substance abuse. When a child calls from a party, and asks if his or her friend can sleep over at your house, it may be because the friend doesn’t want his own parents to notice his/her substance use.

Adolescents are more susceptible to addiction than adults.

For kids with ADD, the earlier they start on medications, the less likely they are to abuse drugs in their teen years. Treating ADHD reduces drug abuse by 84% in children with ADHD.

Tell girls especially that eating properly and exercising is the best way to lose weight. Taking diet pills or other stimulant drugs to lose weight is extremely dangerous because they cause liver damage, stress the heart, and weaken blood vessels.

When anyone takes tranquilizers or depressants, it is very important not to drink alcohol. This is because alcohol is a depressant, and greatly multiplies the effects of the original drug.

Re: Inhalants. 33% of deaths occur on first use. Inhalants kill more people in the first use than any other drug. When you talk to children about inhalants, use words like fumes, toxins, poisons, pollutions as being very dangerous. Don’t give them specific ideas about substances or methods that you’ve heard “work.”

Be sure to dispose of old or extra medications safely. That means either 1) in a police-supervised “safe deposit box,” if one exists in your community, or 2) in the trash, out of the bottle, in a baggie with coffee grinds or kitty litter. Do not flush down the toilet; do not through away in original containers; do not keep around longer than necessary.

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