A new generation of drug users, by contrast (to the boomers), isn’t waiting to reach middle age to add prescription drugs to its portfolio of abuse, the report says. Among teens and young adults 12 to 25, one-third of those who use illicit drugs say they recently have abused prescription drugs — including painkillers, tranquilizers and stimulants. Among kids 12 to 17, 3.3% had abused prescription psychotherapeutic drugs in the last month. Among 17- to 25-year-olds, 6% had abused prescription drugs in the last month.
Those generational trends are driving a significant change on the landscape of American drug abuse. After years of declining American use of street drugs — cocaine, hallucinogens and even marijuana — prescription medications have begun moving front and center as the nation’s drug of choice.
The result, according to the latest federal drug-use survey: Last year, Americans who began abusing prescription drugs outnumbered those who took up smoking marijuana — traditionally the nation’s “gateway drug.”……
…..Though addiction to prescription drugs is not new, the current generation of teens and young adults has grown up around unprecedented widespread medical use of prescription drugs, Volkow says, and is inclined to view them as safe because they are prescribed by doctors.
What is not made as clear as it should be in this article is how many children are becoming addicted to drugs that are prescribed for supposed psychiatric disorders. Stimulants like Ritalin, Concerta, Adderal, etc. are routinely used and passed around—those who are prescribed them “legitimately” giving them to friends to use. I suspect that statistic that I bolded above is grossly understated. It doesn’t count all the kids who simply shouldn’t be on “psychotherapeutic” drugs at all, but are on them with the blessings of doctors and parents.
Then there is the very disturbing fact that is being brought to light that Seroquel, a hard-core neuroleptic that basically knocks people out is being abused and sold on the street. It’s been referred to as a “heroine substitute.” Furious Seasons has a lot on this phenomena and kids have been arrested in schools dealing this heavy tranquilizer.
I think this LA Times article barely scratches the surface of how deeply entrenched drugs are in our society. I think we are creating a nation of drug addicts, most of whom think, along with their parents, that they are taking drugs they really need prescribed by psychiatrists.