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(12) Drugs & Child’s

Heroin Drug Addicted - Documentary

DC12

 

What can parents do to prevent their son or daughter from becoming involved in steroid abuse?

 

Educational programs that take place before use starts have been suggested to be more effective over drug testing policies. Discussion as part of providing information has to be balanced and should both cover the desired effects and side effects. Supervised training programs are also key. Steroids do not play any legitimate role in sports. Period.

 

I heard that my son took his classmate’s Adderall. Should I be concerned?

 

Yes. Adderall (dextroamphetamine salts) is a stimulant medication medically approved for ADHD. It can also improve memory and wakefulness in healthy individuals, which makes it a drug of choice during exam preparations. Side effects are the extension of its intended benefits and are dose dependent. These effects include euphoria, agitation, hyperthermia (dysregulated increase in body temperature), seizures, hearing voices, and suspiciousness (paranoia). Some individuals combine opioids (downers) like heroin with stimulants (Ritalin [methylphenidate] or Adderall) to counteract the high. Overdoses can lead to heart rhythm abnormalities, heart attack, and breakdown of muscle, leading to kidney shutdown, status epileptics, and brain hemorrhages.

 

 Terms:

 

 Stimulant - Class of medications that is the first line of treatment for ADHD and is not complicated by drug use.

 

Downers - Drugs whose primary effect is to induce motor slowing and sedation.

 

Overdose - Taking more than what is prescribed or suggested for a medication. It can be intentional or accidental.

 

 My friend gave her Xanax to her daughter to help with her anxiety. Is this safe?

 

No. Xanax (alprazolam) is a potent, short-acting benzodiazepine, which is primarily indicated for anxiety problems (used in severe panic disorder where individuals are not even able to leave their homes to get counseling). Compared to older medications like barbiturates (Phenobarbital or Fioricet [a combination of butalbital and acetaminophen that is used for migraines]), benzodiazepines have less potential for abuse, but nevertheless are still addictive. They cause drowsiness, cross-eye, hypothermia, respiratory depression, stupor, and coma. The shorter acting and more potent these medications are, the more likely that they will cause dependence. Xanax is therefore more addictive than Klonopin (clonazepam) or Valium(diazepam) because it is relatively more potent and stays in the body the shortest time (has the shortest half-life). Five milligrams of diazepam is equivalent to 0.25 mg of alprazolam and is equivalent to 1 mg of clonazepam.

 

Term:

 

 Short-acting - A brief duration of medication/drug effects, usually inversely related to how long it takes for the body to get rid of it.

 

 My friend gave her Xanax to her daughter to help with her anxiety. Is this safe?

 

No. Xanax (alprazolam) is a potent, short-acting benzodiazepine, which is primarily indicated for anxiety problems (used in severe panic disorder where individuals are not even able to leave their homes to get counseling). Compared to older medications like barbiturates (Phenobarbital or Fioricet [a combination of butalbital and acetaminophen that is used for migraines]), benzodiazepines have less potential for abuse, but nevertheless are still addictive. They cause drowsiness, cross-eye, hypothermia, respiratory depression, stupor, and coma. The shorter acting and more potent these medications are, the more likely that they will cause dependence. Xanax is therefore more addictive than Klonopin (clonazepam) or Valium(diazepam) because it is relatively more potent and stays in the body the shortest time (has the shortest half-life). Five milligrams of diazepam is equivalent to 0.25 mg of alprazolam and is equivalent to 1 mg of clonazepam.

 

Why does prescription drug abuse seem to be such a problem nowadays?

 

Because there are so few studies, no definitive answers have been offered to explain the increased prevalence of adolescent prescription pain relievers (PPRs). In one study (Wu et al., 2008), increased PPR is seen in adolescents with depression or alcohol problems. A number of these adolescents would be missed if strict DSM-IV criteria for abuse or dependence are applied; they nevertheless exhibit impairments. Compared to adolescents with no DSM-IV symptoms, abusers are likely to be younger and not attending school, be in counseling, have impaired physical health, and have developed a major depressive episode. A reason offered for drug use is the relief of psychic or physical pain, as opposed to getting high.

 

In 2005, 1.4 million visits to the emergency room involved substance abuse, 37% of which were for prescription drug abuse. Their abuse is implicated in suicide attempts, 45% of which involved prescription medication and 56% of which involved sedatives and stimulants. Use of a controlled substance for reasons other than that for which it is prescribed, often in doses different than prescribed, results in disability and dysfunction. This is often in the context of illegal activity, aberrant medication-seeking behavior, and risk of harm to the abuser. Teens often use their parents’ or their grandparents’ pain medications, which are easily accessed from medicine cabinets. Remember the epidemic of OxyContin use? The long-term preparation capsule, when crushed, caused an immediate rush, which can cause severe intoxication and loss of breathing control, making it fatal to some individuals.

 

The most common way to obtain medication is from friends or family. (Beware the medicine cabinet!) Other common methods include obtaining medication from a physician, physician hopping, purchasing medication, or theft, usually from friends or relatives.

 

 Teens often use their parents’ or their grandparents’ pain medications.

 

 Terms:

 

 Controlled substance - Substances defined by the Drug Enforcement Agency with varying levels of addictive potential (based on schedules) and medicinal value.

 

 Physician hopping - A form of drug seeking behavior in which an individual sees multiple doctors to obtain the desired drug of abuse

 

 

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