To teens, prescription drugs can seem like a safe alternative to hard street drugs, but in reality, prescription medications can do a great deal of damage to a growing brain. Teens that don’t get help can grow into adults with deep-set addictions that are very difficult to heal.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, alcohol and marijuana are the most popular drugs of abuse for those 14 and older. But prescription drugs come in close at third.
At Next Generation Village, teen prescription drug addiction treatment is provided by experts. It’s here that teens have the opportunity to learn more about how their addictions developed, and teens have a chance to heal completely.
What Prescription Drugs Are Teens Using?
Why Do Teens Try Prescription Drugs?
An adolescent is under a great deal of pressure. These kids need to achieve excellent grades in order to get into prestigious schools, they need to participate in multiple extracurricular activities so they can qualify for scholarships, and they’re often living in fractured families with conflicting schedules.
Teens may not have all of the skills they need in order to deal with this relentless pressure, so they may cheat by taking prescription drugs. As one teen told a reporter for the Today show, teens often jump into bathrooms right before difficult exams, and they take and/or trade drugs like Adderall, OxyContin, and hydrocodone. These teens felt the drugs gave them an edge, but in reality, they could be making their lives harder.
Teens who use drugs as a crutch just never learn the life skills they’ll lean on as adults, and each hit of drugs does a form of subtle damage to the brain. In time, teens have no real control over their drug use. Even if they’re caught, and even if they know they should stop, they may be simply unable to do so. The damaged portions of the brain seem to take over, and they compel the teen to keep taking drugs, despite the consequences.
“Skittles” Drug Parties
Though some teens engage in prescription drug abuse alone, others do so at “Skittles” parties. These events — which involve random and reckless prescription drug use — may take place secretly at a teen’s home, under the guise of hanging out with friends. Despite having a cute name, Skittles parties can result in devastating consequences, including death. These pill parties are so named because a bowl of random pills may look similar to the colorful little candies.
During these events, teens get high by mixing pharmaceutical drugs — primarily prescription drugs, but sometimes over-the-counter drugs as well. They empty out their home medicine cabinets, dump all their medications in a bowl, then play a potentially lethal game of Russian roulette by taking a random combination of pills without knowing how they will be affected. Oftentimes, the parties are also rampant with alcohol abuse — teens wash down the pills with illicit beverages.
Some prescription drugs teens use at Skittles parties include:
In 2013, Tennessee teenager Mitchell Maxwell died at a Skittles party just days before he was scheduled to start college. Unfortunately, Mitchell is not the only teen to die of an overdose after “skittling.” Pharm party deaths and overdoses may only increase as drug misuse continues to rise.
Effective Teen Prescription Drug Addiction Therapy
Simply promising to monitor a teen’s activities isn’t effective. As a 2013 report from the MetLife Foundation and the Partnership at Drugfree.org points out, 45 percent of teens who admit to drug use live with parents who monitor their activities every single day. These teens are under pressure to conform, but they just can’t do so. They need more help.
The staff of Next Generation Village understands this problem quite well, and that’s why that staff has developed a suite of therapies that are made to help teens break down a drug abuse problem and develop innovative and workable solutions to drug cravings.
One effective therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, asks teens to think about the thoughts and feelings that compel drug use. Does the teen feel a craving to use during:
- Times of sadness?
- Moments of extreme happiness?
- Right before stressful situations?
- In the aftermath of something stressful?
When teens can identify the situations that spark drug use, they can think about the messages their brains push to them during these moments, and they can come up with new solutions that don’t involve drugs.
Teens who use during stressful times, for example, might learn better test-prep and study skills, so they can walk into tests with more confidence. They might benefit from learning positive visualization techniques, so they can soothe stress signs when they pop up.
Therapists at Next Generation Village form tight relationships with their clients. These teens come to trust their therapists, and these teens view their therapy sessions as a vital tool in the fight against addiction. In time, with that therapeutic support, these teens can get better.
Boosting the Healing Process
In addition to therapy, teen prescription drug addiction programs rely on healing therapeutic environments. Teens need to feel as though they’re in a space that’s warm, healing, and welcoming. They need to know that there are no drugs they could score or relapse with. Teens get this support at Next Generation Village.
Our facilities are secure, and they’re also beautiful. We have state-of-the-art classrooms, and plenty of exercise opportunities available:
- Swimming Pool
- Basketball and Volleyball Courts
- On-site Chef
- Patient Lounge Area
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Workout Gym
Teens can hike, bike, run, play sports, swim, and more on the grounds of the facility. They may come to associate these healthful activities with rewards, rather than drugs, and that may also boost healing.
If you’d like to learn more about how your teen can overcome a prescription drug addiction issue, or if you’d like to get your child enrolled in care, call Next Generation Village today. Don’t wait to get your child the help they need to start on the path to recovery.
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Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.