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How prescription pill use becomes abuse

The misuse of prescription pills has exploded in recent years. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2,000 teenagers are introduced to this form of substance abuse per day. Though instances of this practice have been widely reported on college campuses, young adults aren't the only ones turning to opioids, depressants and stimulants to get high.  In 2010, 7 million people across the country took psychotherapeutic drugs recreationally, and 5.1 million used painkillers in this way.

So, how as this practice ballooned to such an ominous extent? Many medical professionals have posited that accessibility is the key.  Robert Jamison, PhD, of Harvard Medical School told WebMD that "vastly more people have access to these medicines today than 15 or 20 years ago." This has two substantial ramifications that could be driving the recent surge in abuse.

First,  these pills may inadvertently fall into the hands of – or even be prescribed to –  individuals with a genetic predisposition for addiction. Second, the increase in actual prescriptions has given this behavior an air of normalcy. If you're feeling down, anxious or even bored, why not pop a kill to make it better?

Dr. Andrew Saxon from the University of Washington told the source that, while it is a positive development that more people are finding relief from various medical conditions via prescription medication, "today, people are being exposed to these drugs who never would have been in the past. For those with the predisposition, it sets them up for addiction."

If you have a son or daughter who is addicted to prescription pills, you may have asked yourself how this could have happened – at least at first. Now, though, the most important thing is to ensure that your loved one has access to the care they need to get better. Contact Intervention Services to learn how a professional interventionist can help you take a proactive step toward your child's recovery.

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