A Parent’s Cheat Sheet to Navigating the Painkiller Epidemic

A_Parents_Cheat_Sheet_to_Navigating_the_Painkiller_Epidemic

Teens are overdosing on drugs that are easily found in their parent’s medicine cabinet. Actually, 70% of teens report their easiest source of drugs is in their home. With drug overdose being the leading cause of accidental death in this country, we as parents, need to do something now.

It’s up to us to save our teens from drug overdose. We need to understand the dangers of prescription drugs, and take precautions to ensure teens do not have access to them. Review the tips below to ensure your teenager remains safe.

Facts About Teens and Prescription Drugs

People die every day from opioid (prescription drug) overdose. The problem is that many people, especially teens, don’t believe prescription drugs are as dangerous as street drugs. They figure since adults take them, they should be okay for them to take, even if they don’t suffer from pain. The number of deaths from prescription opioid pain relievers has increased significantly since 2001 for both males and females.

Drug Terminology for Better Understanding

It’s important for all of us to understand the differences in drugs teens are most likely to use. Narcotics, also referred to as opioids and opiates, help people by relieving severe pain and discomfort. The drugs block pain signals to the brain, which stops the person from feeling pain. There are two different classes of narcotics: legal prescription drugs and illegal drugs. An example of a legal prescription drug is OxyContin or Vicodin, and an example of illegal drugs is heroin. What many people do not know is that when any drug is abused, it is considered illegal.

Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs found in a medicine cabinet can be just as dangerous as heroin, so don’t be fooled. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone

Drug users come up with many different names for drugs, so they can freely discuss them without getting into trouble. These are the street names for the most common drugs teens abuse.

Heroin

  • Brown Sugar
  • China White
  • Dope
  • H
  • Horse
  • Junk
  • Skag
  • Skunk
  • Smack
  • White Horse
  • Captain Cody
  • Lean
  • Schoolboy
  • Sizzurp
  • Purple Drink
  • Apache
  • China Girl
  • China White
  • Dance Fever
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Jackpot
  • Murder 8
  • Tango and Cahs
  • TNT
  • Vike
  • Watson 387
  • D
  • Dillies
  • Footballs
  • Juice
  • Smack
  • Demmies
  • Pain Killer
  • Amidone
  • Fizzies
  • When mixed with MDMA – Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • M
  • Miss Emma
  • Monkey
  • White Stuff
  • OC
  • Oxycet
  • Oxycotton
  • Oxy
  • Hillbilly Heroin
  • Percs

Codeine

  • Captain Cody
  • Lean
  • Schoolboy
  • Sizzurp
  • Purple Drink

Fentanyl

  • Apache
  • China Girl
  • China White
  • Dance Fever
  • Friend
  • Goodfella
  • Jackpot
  • Murder 8
  • Tango and Cahs
  • TNT

Hydrocodone

  • Vike
  • Watson 387

Hydromorphone

  • D
  • Dillies
  • Footballs
  • Juice
  • Smack

Meperidine

  • Demmies
  • Pain Killer

Methadone

  • Amidone
  • Fizzies
  • When mixed with MDMA – Chocolate Chip Cookies

Morphine

  • M
  • Miss Emma
  • Monkey
  • White Stuff

Oxycodone

  • OC
  • Oxycet
  • Oxycotton
  • Oxy
  • Hillbilly Heroin
  • Percs

Dangerous Dosages

The average dose a heroin user who has just started is 5 to 10 milligrams. A heroin user who has built a tolerance may use 20 to 40 milligrams each time. Regular heroin addicts use about four times a day, depending on their level of addiction.

Prescription drugs have a potency that can be just as strong as heroin. For example, all someone has to do is take 50 mg of hydrocodone to ingest as much as 10 mg of heroin. It only takes 1 ¼ pills of Methadone to achieve the same potency of heroin, and just 1 1/6 pills of Oxycodone. Morphine is another drug that doesn’t take much to reach the potency of heroin – 1 2/3 pills. Some of the other prescription drugs such as meperidine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl require the user to take about 15 pills to reach the strength of 10 mg of heroin. Does this make them less of a danger? No! When teens abuse prescription drugs, they normally take multiple pills at one time and over time. This increases their risk of overdose quickly.

How to Protect Our Teens from Drug Overdose

The easiest way to protect our teens from drug overdose is to make the prescription drugs inaccessible. Addicts have an extremely hard time obtaining narcotics, which is why they choose heroin. Teens have a harder time finding heroin, so if they can’t obtain prescription drugs at home, they will be much safer.

Lock Away Prescription Drugs

Some medicine cabinets have a lock on it. There are also lock boxes available to store medications.

Dispose of Unused Medication

Many people keep extra medication after they are done with it. This is unwise. All medication should be disposed of correctly. A doctor can review how to appropriately dispose of prescription medication for extras left over after treatment.

Speak to Teens

Teens need to understand the dangers of prescription drugs. Many do not know how certain medication can kill them. Education is one of the best ways to ensure our teens do not end up using drugs, whether they are obtained at home or through peers.

Speaking to teens about drugs can be a difficult discussion, as adolescents often feel as though their parents don’t trust them or are trying to control them. When speaking about drugs, it’s important to do it in a peaceful, calm environment without accusations. This will keep our teens open and accepting of the information we’re providing.

Speak to Other Parents

Many parents do not know or believe their teen will take their prescription drugs. It’s important to bring this potential situation to our communities. The more people realize teens are at risk of drug overdose from the medications they easily find in their home’s bathroom, the less likely they will be able to obtain them in this way. Tell as many people as possible about this because it may save a teenager’s life.

Seek Help for Troubled Teens

Troubled teens who are already abusing prescription drugs are a risk to those who aren’t yet. We need to education teens and parents on how to handle teenage drug abuse with treatment. By pursuing treatment early, the chances of a teen recovering and getting back on path to a life of happiness and success are high.

For more information on helping troubled teens, contact Liahona Academy. We are a therapeutic residential treatment center for troubled boys who struggle with substance abuse, self-harming behaviors, academics, anxiety, depression, defiance, and so much more. There is hope for troubled teens, and it all starts with a simple phone call to 1-800-675-8101.

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