Young Adults and Prescription Drug Abuse

In recent years, the nation has become painfully aware of the severely addictive properties of prescription drugs.  The opioid epidemic has produced devastating effects on our young adults especially, with tens of thousands of young lives cut short each year from overdoses related to opiates and synthetic opioids. 

While this drug classification represents the majority of the problem, young adults are also abusing stimulants, such as Adderall, Vyvanse, Concerta, and Ritalin and sedatives, such as Xanax and Ativan.  In all, young adults aged 18-25 represent the largest portion of prescription drug abusers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

How Pervasive is the Problem of Young Adults and Prescription Drug Abuse?

A study out of Michigan University culled data from a recent Monitoring the Future survey and published the data involving young adults and prescription drug abuse.   Asked about their use of four types of prescription drugs, including painkillers, sleep aids, stimulants, and anxiety medications, nearly 60% responded that they had used one or more of the four drug types.  Fewer than 40% of them had actual prescriptions for these drugs.  The study results demonstrated that the college-aged students who used these drugs without a prescription were more likely to positively screen for drug abuse.

One popular prescription drug among college-aged kids is Adderall, often referred to as the study drug.  This stimulant, which is medically prescribed for treating narcolepsy and ADHD, is commonly abused on campus to help with battling fatigue and increasing concentration.  Young adults and prescription drug abuse is a serious problem on campus and elsewhere, as stimulants like Adderall can have a serious impact on health.

How Are Young Adults Accessing The Prescription Drugs?

With the proliferation of pharmaceutical drugs being manufactured and dispensed today, many family medicine cabinets provide instant access for a young adult wanting to recreationally abuse drugs.  Others may obtain a prescription under false pretenses, as in lying to a physician about concocted symptoms.  Still others may purchase the pills through friends or on the Internet. 

Treatment for Young Adults and Prescription Drug Abuse

Young adults are usually uninformed about how dangerous prescription medications can be when taken illicitly.  Young people may first encounter OxyContin at a party, where the pills are being distributed to enhance the effects of alcohol. They may hear stories on social media of friends who could stay up all night to complete school assignments, or who used stimulants to lose weight, and not understand how the addiction process works.  Most young adults begin experimenting with prescription drugs innocently and soon find themselves mired in addiction.

Young adults can and do recover from prescription drug abuse and addiction.  If addiction or chemical dependency has taken root, the young adult will first go through the detox and withdrawal phase of recovery.  This is best accomplished at a medically monitored facility or treatment program where they will be supervised and assisted through the drug withdrawal symptoms.

Following detox, the young adult will engage in an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program that helps them change their behavior patterns and recognize underlying factors that might be contributing to the need to use drugs.  Various forms of psychotherapy, both individual and group, are designed to help the young adult establish new healthy habits, new coping skills, and new thought/behavior patterns.

Solutions 4 Recovery Offers Rehab for Young Adult Drug Abuse and Addiction

Solutions 4 Recovery provides support and treatment for young adults who are in trouble with prescription medications.  Our compassionate and highly trained addiction specialists offer the best treatment match for your young adult.  Located in Southern California’s coastal region, Solutions 4 Recovery provides detox, substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment, and outpatient services second to none. For immediate assistance for your young adult child, contact Solutions 4 Recovery today at (888) 417-1874.