Y??rs ?go, th?

common im?g? of ?n ?dol?sc?nt drug ?bus?r w?s ? t??n trying to ?sc?p? from

r??lity on ill?g?l subst?nc?s lik? coc?in?, h?roin, or m?riju?n?. Tod?y, th?r?

is ? gr??t discr?p?ncy b?tw??n th?t p?rc?ption ?nd th? r??lity of who is lik?ly

to ?bus? drugs. ? t??n?g? drug ?bus?r might not h?v? to look ?ny furth?r th?n

his or h?r p?r?nt’s m?dicin? ch?st to ‘scor?.’ Pr?scription drug ?bus? by t??ns

is on th? ris?. ?lso, t??ns ?r? looking to pr?scription drugs to fulfill

diff?r?nt n??ds oth?r th?n to f??l good or ?sc?p? th? pr?ssur?s of ?dulthood.

T??ns m?y b? just ?s lik?ly to r?sort to drugs with ‘sp??dy’ sid? ?ff?cts, lik?

Rit?lin to h?lp th?m study long?r, ?s th?y ?r? to us? pr?scription p?inkill?rs

to ch?ck out of r??lity. Pr?ssur?s on t??ns ?r? growing, to succ??d in sports

or to g?t high gr?d?s to g?t into ? good coll?g? (Pr?ssur?s on tod?y’s t??ns,

2008, th??ntidrug). Furth?rmor?, b?c?us? pr?scriptions drugs ?r? pr?scrib?d by

doctors th?y ?r? l?ss lik?ly to b? s??n ?s d?trim?nt?l to t??ns’ h??lth. ? l?ck

of ?w?r?n?ss of th? probl?m on th? p?rt of t??ns, p?r?nts ?nd soci?ty in

g?n?r?l, th? ov?r-m?dic?tion of ?m?ric?, ?nd th? gr??t?r str?ss?s ?nd pr?ssur?s

put upon t??ns in th? mod?rn world h?v? ?ll conspir?d to cr??t? th? growing

probl?m of pr?scription drug ?bus? by t??ns.

“Th? b?h?vior, drug ?bus? pr?v?ntion

?xp?rts s?y, is not?bly diff?r?nt from th? us? of drugs lik? m?riju?n? or

coc?in?…Th? go?l for m?ny young ?dults is not to g?t high but to f??l b?tt?r:

l?ss d?pr?ss?d, l?ss str?ss?d out, mor? focus?d, ?nd b?tt?r r?st?d. It is just th?t th? ??si?st

rout? to th?t ?nd oft?n s??ms to b? m?dic?tion for which th?y do not h?v? ?

pr?scription” (H?rmon 2005, p.1) ?ccording to th? P?rtn?rship for ? Drug-Fr??

?m?ric? in ? s?lf-r?port?d study, 1 in 5 t??ns h?v? ?bus?d ? pr?scription p?in

m?dic?tion, 1 in 5 r?port ?busing pr?scription stimul?nts ?nd tr?nquiliz?rs,

?nd 1 in 10 h?s ?bus?d cough m?dic?tion, ?nd th?t m?y b? only th? ‘tip of th?

ic? b?rg’ in highlighting this probl?m (Pr?scription drug ?bus?: ? s?rious

probl?m, 2008, P?rtn?rship for ? Drug-Fr?? ?m?ric?). St?roid ?bus? by t??n

?thl?t?s ?nd ?bus? of p?rform?nc?-?nh?ncing suppl?m?nts lik? cr??tin? is ?lso

on th? ris? (P?rform?nc?-?nh?ncing drugs ?nd your t??n ?thl?t?, 2008, Th? M?yo

Clinic). ?lthough som? t??ns m?y f??l th?t th?y ?r? c?rt?in th?t th?y know

‘drugs ?r? b?d,’ ?nd drugs fry your br?in, m?ny w?ll-?duc?t?d t??ns ?nd young

?dults do not s?? th? s?m? risks inh?r?nt in pr?scription drugs or drugs th?t

m?k? th?m f??l b?tt?r or run f?st?r (Th? P?rtn?rship’s fri?d ?gg m?ss?g?, 2013,

P?rtn?rship for ? Drug-Fr?? ?m?ric?). “For ? siz?bl? group of p?opl? in th?ir

20’s ?nd 30’s, d?ciding on th?ir own wh?t drugs to t?k? – in p?rticul?r,

stimul?nts, ?ntid?pr?ss?nts ?nd oth?r psychi?tric m?dic?tions – is b?coming th?

norm. Confid?nt of th?ir ?biliti?s ?nd oft?n sk?ptic?l of psychi?trists’

?xp?rtis?, th?y choos? to r?ly on th?ir own r?s??rch ?nd ??ch oth?r’s

?xp?ri?nc? in tr??ting probl?ms lik? d?pr?ssion, f?tigu?, ?nxi?ty or ? l?ck of

conc?ntr?tion. ? m?dic?l d?gr??, in th?ir vi?w, is us?ful, but not ?ss?nti?l,

?nd c?rt?inly not suffici?nt,” r?ports th? N?w York Tim?s, s?ying incid?nts of

young ?dults t?king Rit?lin to st?y out p?rtying ?ll night or pr?ssur?d

stud?nts popping ? pill to study into th? l?st f?w hours (H?rmon 2005, p.1).

Ph?rm?c?utic?ls h?v? b?com? such ? glob?l

p?rt of ?m?ric?n cultur?, s?lf-m?dic?ting just to f??l ‘norm?l’ is ?ssum?d to

b? n?c?ss?ry. “K?th?rin? g?v? th? tr?nquiliz?r ?tiv?n to ?noth?r fri?nd who

compl?in?d of f??ling short of br??th ?nd p?nicky…’I ?cquir? quit? ? f?w

m?dic?tions ?nd th?n disp?ns? th?m to my fri?nds ?s n??d?d. I usu?lly know wh?t

I’m t?lking ?bout,'” s?id K?th?rin? to ? r?port?r, un?bl? to s?? th?t h?r

b?h?vior w?s ?ny diff?r?nt th?n som?on? s?lf-m?dic?ting with ?noth?r drug

(H?rmon 2005, p.1). ?nd not unlik? ? cl?ssic ill?g?l drug us?r or ?bus?r,

K?th?rin? w?s unwilling to ?cknowl?dg? th? pot?nti?l risks of th?t b?h?vior,

d?spit? th? f?ct th?t sh? ?xp?ri?nc?d n?g?tiv? drug int?r?ctions. Wh?n drugs

?r? circul?t?d in sm?ll b?tch?s, oft?n without th? origin?l p?ck?ging,

“inform?tion ?bout risks ?nd dos?g? ?r? not includ?d. ?v?n c?r?ful

s?lf-m?dic?tors, th?y s?y, m?y not r??liz? th? h?rmful int?r?ction th?t drugs

c?n h?v? wh?n us?d tog?th?r or m?y r??ct unpr?dict?bly to ? drug” (H?rmon 2005,

p.1). ?lso, d?v?loping t??n br?ins m?y not b? ?bl? to h?ndl? th? sid? ?ff?cts

of ?ntid?pr?ss?nts ?s w?ll ?s ?dult br?ins, ?nd d?v?loping t??n bodi?s m?y

suff?r mor? physic?l h?rm from drug int?r?ctions. ?lthough, ?ll th? bl?m? c?nnot

b? pl?c?d on th? t??ns. Th? us? of m?dic?tions to tr??t ?v?ry minor inf?ction,

from ?r?ctil? dysfunction to to?n?il fungus ?xplod?d during th? 1990s. “Dir?ct-to-consum?r drug ?dv?rtising,

?pprov?d by th? Food ?nd Drug ?dministr?tion in 1997, h?s for most of th?ir

?dult liv?s s?nt th? m?ss?g? th?t pills off?r ? cur? for ?ny ill. Which on?s to

t?k?, m?ny ?dv?rtis?m?nts sugg?st, is l?rg?ly ? m?tt?r of p?rson?l choic?”

(H?rmon 2005, p.1). So th? FD?, r?th?r th?n curt?iling th? probl?m, m?y h?v?

only contribut?d to it by ?mpow?ring th? ph?rm?c?utic?l industry to ?dv?rtis?

to consum?rs. How?v?r, this m?k?s pr?scription drug ?bus? ?v?n mor? d?ng?rous,

sinc? so m?ny individu?ls ?r? on minor m?dic?tions for on? disord?r or ?noth?r.

This h?s m?d? th? pot?nti?l risks of n?g?tiv? drug int?r?ctions ?sc?l?t? dr?m?tic?lly

(Your br?in’s r?spons? to drugs, 2008, T??n Growth).

Ironic?lly, m?ny doctors ?r? not ?bl? to

find th? pill to tr??t ? p?ti?nt’s illn?ss h?s not incr??s?d f?ith in doctors,

only m?dic?tion, ?s s?lf-pr?scrib?rs insist th?t th?y know b?tt?r th?n doctors ?nd

wh?t suits th?ir p?rticul?r m?dic?l n??ds. On? wom?n, ?n ?dmitt?d

s?lf-pr?scrib?r of ?nti-d?pr?ss?nts such ?s P?xil ?nd Proz?c to h?rs?lf “could

r?cit? th? pros ?nd cons of ?v?ry s?l?ctiv? s?rotonin r?upt?k? inhibitor on th?

m?rk?t …y??rs of w?tching doctors try to find th? right drug cockt?ils for h?r

?nd for ?ssort?d fri?nds h?s not bolst?r?d f?ith in th?ir ?xp?rtis?…lots of

doctors don’t know wh?t th?y’r? t?lking ?bout sh? insist?d” (H?rmon 2005,

p.2). Furth?rmor?, th? ov?r-pr?scription of drugs l??ds to s?lf-m?dic?tion simply

by g?n?r?ting mor? drugs into th? circul?tion ?nd h?nds of p?opl? who m?y only

us? on? or two pills from ? pr?scription: “pr?scriptions to tr??t ?tt?ntion

d?ficit disord?r in ?dults ?g? 20 to 30 n??rly tripl?d from 2000 to 2004”

(H?rmon, 2005,p.2)

Th? N?tion?l Surv?y on Drug Us? ?nd H??lth

h?s id?ntifi?d four c?t?gori?s of th? most commonly ?bus?d pr?scription

m?dic?tions: p?in r?li?v?rs, stimul?nts, s?d?tiv?s ?nd tr?nquiliz?rs. ?l?v?n

p?rc?nt of t??ns h?v? us?d p?inkill?rs ?nd stimul?nts th?t w?r? not pr?scrib?d

for th?ir us? (Pr?scription drug ?bus?: ? s?rious probl?m, 2010, P?rtn?rship

for ? Drug-Fr?? ?m?ric?). Young?r t??ns ?r? mor? lik?ly to us? pr?scription

m?dic?tion th?t is t?k?n from th?ir p?r?nts. Old?r t??ns pr?f?r stimul?nts to

study or p?rty long?r ?nd p?rform?nc?-?nh?ncing subst?nc?s. Int?r?stingly,

“girls ?r? mor? lik?ly to b? curr?nt (p?st month) ?bus?rs of pr?scription

m?dic?tions th?n boys (4.3 vs. 3.6 p?rc?nt),” ?lthough why this is th? c?s? is

unc?rt?in—wh?th?r it is du? to th? gr??t?r pr?ssur?s young wom?n find

th?ms?lv?s und?r, or th? f?ct th?t boys m?y b? mor? ?pt to us? conv?ntion?l

m??ns of g?tting high (Pr?scription drug ?bus?: ? s?rious probl?m, 2010,

P?rtn?rship for ? Drug-Fr?? ?m?ric?).

?duc?tion ?nd ?w?r?n?ss is th? obvious

solution. But oth?r, mor? p?inful st?ps must b? t?k?n. ?s ? soci?ty, w? h?v?

grown too d?p?nd?nt upon ph?rm?c?utic?ls ?s ? quick fix solution for ?ll of our

ills. Y?s, drugs ?r? n?c?ss?ry som?tim?s. But s?lf-pr?scribing m?dic?tions, or

d?m?nding m?dic?tions b?c?us? th?y h?v? b??n ?dv?rtis?d on t?l?vision is ?

probl?m th?t must b? ?ddr?ss?d, if t??n ?bus? of pr?scription m?dic?tion is to

b? curt?il?d. ?limin?ting dir?ct-to-consum?r drug ?dv?rtising, ?duc?ting t??ns

?bout w?ys to r?li?v? str?ss oth?r th?n drugs, ?nd r?ducing th? pr?ssur?s on

t??ns in g?n?r?l ?r? ?ll r?quir?d if w? ?r? to ‘d?toxify’ ?s ? soci?ty ?nd

r?build th? bodi?s ?nd minds of our futur? l??d?rs.