American teenagers are now easing their emotional pain by taking Oxycontin, a prescription painkiller. Later on for a more powerful dose they turn to heroin as a cheaper option. Michaud, now 18 years is one of a new generation of American children getting addicted to prescription drugs. Teenagers are increasingly experimenting with legal drugs like OxyContin, (hillbilly heroin) and Vicodin, often bought online or taken from medicine cabinets.
Health officials say that this is the step before they go on to trying marijuana or alcohol. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an arm of the government's National Institutes of Health said that according to the last year statistics it was found that painkillers topped the list of drugs taken by people who use drugs for the first time.
OxyContin cost about $80 to $100 for a 40 mg pill. Last year's Monitoring the Future study, produced jointly by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan, found a 38%% rise in abuse of OxyContin among 18-year-olds between 2002 and 2005.While overall drug use dropped by 19 % over the past four years, about one in 10 teenagers were abusing prescription drugs. One such dangerous experiment which the present teenagers go about doing is the pharming parties where children meet after scouring family medicine cabinets.
They stir things up, dip in, randomly pluck drugs out and swallow them. Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital in Boston said that they literally do not know what they are taking. They can overdose or take medications that counteract with each other or interact with each other in dangerous ways. Volkow at the National Institute on Drug Abuse said many teens associate prescription drugs with family doctors, and consider them safe.
The only solution to such a problem would be to control abuse without banning drugs that do more good than harm to society. Government statistics show that teenagers are not the only prescription drug abusers. The number of people over the age of 55 treated for abuse of opiates has nearly doubled between 1995 and 2002.