Why Abuse & Misuse Happens PDF Print E-mail

Teens tend to misuse prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs because the drugs change the way they feel, and medicines are perceived to be safe…or safer than alternatives. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has found that teens tend to misuse prescription and OTC drugs for several reasons.

Teens may misuse prescription drugs to enhance their performance by:

  • Increasing concentration
  • Increasing alertness
  • Helping them study

Teens may feel prescription drugs will help deal with their problems by:

  • Decreasing anxiety
  • Relieving pain
  • Helping them feel better about themselves
  • Losing weight

In some cases, prescription drug misuse is recreational and getting high with friends is considered a way to:

  • Have fun
  • Relax
  • Experiment

It is important to understand that there may be various reasons for a teen to misuse prescription or OTC drugs. Use Iowa Medicine TLC to:

  • Talk to your children about prescription and OTC drug use
  • Lock up or store medicines in a safe place in your home
  • Connect with the Iowa Substance Abuse Information Center to get the facts you need to protect your children
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