Generation Rx leads substance abuse

Officials in four counties in Florida have recently come out and deemed 2011 as the year for a Safe Rx Campaign. The campaign is aimed at targeting the abuse of prescription drugs.

Vicodin, Oxycontin, Adderall and Vyvanse are all prescription drugs that have recently become popular among college students and thieves.

“A combined $300 billion was spent or lost in 2009 on health care, lost productivity, premature death, crime and auto accidents related just to alcohol and drug abuse alone,” according to reports published on SAMHSA.gov, the website for the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Aministration.

The report also found that “people ages 12 to 25 have among the highest rates of prescription drug abuse. Parents and others often underestimate teens’ abuse of prescription drugs.”

Drug abuse is one of the fastest-growing problems among college students. They may begin taking these substances in order to deal with low levels of sleep or a dire need for pain relief from stress and migranes. Either way, the consequences that arise are really only found by the time it is too late.

The withdrawal symptoms of these drugs can be as intense as those of illegal drugs. Symptoms can include severe stomachaches, loss of sleep, impaired motor skills, reduced brain function and a built up tolerance.

All of these symptoms can lead to terrible consequences, including fewer options for doctors who need to administer pain relief.

Other signs of addiction that are caused by desperation can include stealing and extreme behavioral changes.

On Monday, $100,000 dollars worth of OxyContin was stolen from a CVS store in Phoenix, according to azfamily.com.

Arizona police are still looking for the three suspects that robbed the pharmacists. The suspects stole approximately 5,200 tablets, most of which were OxyContin, and carry a street value of more than $100,000.

The problems that these drugs create must be approached in a careful manner. They have important functions in medical science and should not be weakened by people whom abuse them. Instead the focus needs to be switched to educating those most susceptible to addiction on the dangers that abuse can cause.

Margarita Campos contributed additional information to this article.


  • You are absolutely right. We must talk to our parents, our aunts, and uncles, as well as any member of Generation Rx about prescription drug abuse. People in their 40s need to be warned of the dangers of prescription drug abuse and accidental overdose. Otherwise they will continue to die of overdose at a much higher rate than those in their 20s and 30s. Young people must lead the way in this situation, educating the middle-aged on how to safely engage in recreational drug. Their experience and knowledge must be passed on to the older generations in order to prevent a national tragedy.
    p. 7, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/injury99-05/i
    p. 15, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr54/nvsr54_1

  • Meh, I think people learn to hit it and quit it. Trying out some prescription medication is dangerous sure, but so it driving a car. So is drinking alcohol. So is unprotected sex. Pharmacies and Rx companies are pushing for drugs, which is deplorable, but let's not make drugs any harder to get than they already are.

    The only thing politicians will do is punish people harder for possession, we don't need that.

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