The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Tip of the Week: Teen Drug Abuse

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My middle school daughter rides the bus to and from each morning and afternoon. I remember riding the school bus most of the way through school. There are a lot of conversations going on in that 15-40 minutes our children are on the bus. Sadly, not all of them are ones that we hear about as soon as they happen. One conversation that has been on our family’s radar is how many teens are abusing prescription drugs. Last year more than 1 in 5 Indiana students surveyed reported using prescription drugs without a prescription. This is the second highest rate in the nation.*

Bitter Pill is working to inform youth and parents about the dangers of using prescription drugs illegally. It is easy to think that “my child” wouldn’t do something illegal, but as the fictional account below shows, it may be more likely than you think. Consider bringing this topic up to your son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandchildren at your next family meal. Be prepared for the eye rolling. But remember, if you talk, they will hear you, even if you think they don’t.

From Teen/Youth at
“Casey” was really stressing out about the big chemistry exam. She had a ton of other homework to work on and it didn’t feel like there were enough hours in the day ― between softball practice, student government meetings, and babysitting ― to study. So when her friend, Laura, handed her the Adderall in the hallway one day, she thought she’d give it a try. Tons of other kids in school used it to focus more and stay awake… “What could it hurt?” a friend told her.

Later that friend said, “If you need more, my brother can get them. Mom thinks he is taking his ADHD meds. He sells them. Just call me and ask for ‘Addy’.” Her test scores were solid those first few weeks. Prom was coming up. She was so excited, she started having trouble sleeping. Confessing to another friend, she was given some pills to calm her back down. Neither of these friends was a doctor. Her parents were divorced and barely spoke. They both missed the signs and her mood changes. Both Casey and her friends missed the prom that year and no one calls to ask for Addy now.

Prescription drugs are proving to be just as dangerous as street drugs and alcohol use amongst teenagers in our state. Bitter Pill’s Parent Page offers information on prevention and awareness.

*According to the Indiana Youth Survey 2012, Indiana Prevention Resource Center

Frances Brooks
Director of Operations & Business Development

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