Prescription Drug Abuse Resources for Patients and Families

Patients can become addicted to their medications through no fault of their own. This process is called ‘iatrogenic addiction’ which refers to drug addiction that is caused by medical care. No laboratory or medical test exists that can tell which patients are likely to become addicted and which are not. This absence of predictive tools is the main reason that Divert-X was developed.

If you suspect you or a loved one are becoming dependent on a Controlled Substance, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or counselor. That said, most medical specialists have little training in addiction issues, so we have selected and list below some superior tools. These tools may help you find a strong support and advice network.

If a person who is suspected of misusing medications is a minor, then you must recognize that prescription drugs have no odor so are harder to detect than alcohol and marijuana. This is one of the reasons teenagers prefer to abuse prescription medications.

Further, highly-addictive prescription drugs are readily available for purchase across America – the problem has accelerated past the medicine cabinet. Because of this, drug testing and meticulous searches of their clothing, etc. should be considered. Saturday and Sunday mornings are good times for surprise urine testing. An entire ‘beat the test’ industry exists, so be forewarned that youth may locally purchase products designed to deceive the testing process.

A Google search of “drug paraphernalia images” can be very helpful in identifying items found in a search. Youth can repeatedly and convincingly lie to their parents and guardians because the consequences are serious.

Youthful Experimentation is Very Different Today

Teenager jumping off cliffBecause many people now initiate drug experimentation with the most addictive substances known – prescription Controlled Substances – the phrase “gateway drug” is dated. While prescribed sedatives, pain medications, stimulants, etc. are readily available and perceived as safe, they are far from safe.

Today’s youth often fall off a cliff rather than pass through a gateway.

Given the depth of addiction that can form from early experimentation with prescription drugs, society has reacted by stationing ambulances, hearses, and reporters at the bottom of the cliff. Vatex is reacting to this crisis by building a fence at the cliff’s edge. Prevention is the least expensive and most humane intervention.

The American College of Preventative Medicine reports that substance use before the age of 18 is associated with an eight-fold likelihood of developing substance dependence in adulthood. “A person’s brain is developing until the age of 24, making teens extremely vulnerable. Even experimenting with pills can alter the brain and lead to a life-long addiction. What is really frightening is that there is no cure for addiction.”

Lora Brown, M.D., Medical Director of WAKE UP! [ref]

Drug Abuse Resources

We recommend these excellent sources of information on substance abuse and treatment.

Background Information on Drug Abuse

A comprehensive and up-to-date background document is available from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. This guide discusses addiction and treatment.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine publishes information for patients and families. A treatment directory is available from the same website.

Treatment and Counseling Centers

A comprehensive and up-to-date listing of alcohol and drug abuse treatment or mental health treatment facilities and programs around the country is compiled by the federal Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration.

An addicted non-minor person must want to enter a abuse treatment or mental health treatment program because involuntary commitment laws are not sufficiently effective for drug-addicted people - they are too brief for meaningful recovery. [ref]

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