The scary truth is that most teens who misuse prescription drugs find these pills lying around their homes. Whether these drugs are stored in medicine cabinets or laying on kitchen counters, many parents forget about the importance of safeguarding medicine once their child reaches a certain age.
Why teenagers get addicted to prescription drugs varies from person to person. There are a wide variety of reasons your child may be using prescription drugs, including:
- History of abuse or mental illness: Past trauma and mental health issues can be difficult to cope with. Your child may be using prescription drugs to mask the pain of these experiences.
- Academic difficulties: Many teens believe that prescription drugs, like ADHD medications, make effective study aids. If your child is struggling at school, they may misuse prescription drugs to assist their cram sessions.
- Peer pressure: Even if your child knows that using drugs is wrong, their desire to fit in and make friends could overrule their better judgment.
- Thrill-seeking: The adolescent brain is primed for thrills. As a result, some teens and young adults experiment with substances like prescription medications without realizing the potential for addiction.
Painkiller Addiction Signs to Look Out For
Young people have a reputation for being moody, withdrawn and argumentative — particularly to their parents. So, how do you know if your child’s behavior is normal or has crossed a line? Drug addiction typically comes with warning signs. If your teen is addicted to painkillers or another prescription drug, there will be red flags.
These signs could include:
- Changes in behavior and mannerisms
- Hanging out with people you don’t know or don’t approve of
- Unnecessary defensiveness when confronted about their behavior
- Withdrawal from family activities or bonding
- Long hours alone in their room
- Disengaging from you or their siblings
- Repeatedly violating curfew
- Unusual or violent behavior following trivial arguments or simple requests
- Emotional instability
- Skipping classes or exhibiting poor grades
- Noticeable physical changes, such as unexplained and sudden weight loss, weight gain or poor hygiene.