Prescription Drug Abuse

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Cultivating a Solution for the Youth of America
Prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic across the United States, destroying and affecting many lives of young Americans. Why do so many people abuse prescription drugs? Many think that prescription drugs are safer and less addictive than “street drugs.” After all, these are drugs that moms, dads, and even kid brothers and sisters use. The dangers are not easily seen, but the future of America’s youth will soon be in severe danger if the problem is not addressed. It will continue to get worse if action is not taken soon. Prescription drugs are only safe for the individuals who actually have prescriptions for them because a doctor has examined these people and prescribed the right dose of medication for a specific medical condition. To fix the rapidly growing issue, I will propose to support programs aimed at preventing drug abuse, to educate parents as well as children about the risks of misusing medicine, and, finally, to enforce punishment for crimes associated with prescription drug diversion.

Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) said about 2.3 million kids ages 12 to 17 took legal medications illegally in 2003 (Banta 2). According to the Anti-Drug Foundation, teens say they abuse prescription drugs because they are easy to get and they think they are a safe way to get high ("Parenting of Teens” 1). Dr. Nicholas Pace, an internist at New York University Medical Center, clarified the sad truth when he said, “It’s a hidden epidemic” (Banta 2). Looking around Auburn University, the problem is not visible at a glance, but it is adamantly buried.

How can this problem be prevented? First, start small. A program in Maine attempted to address the improper disposal of medications ("Prescription Medication Collection" 1). The program was designed to get people to put unused prescription or over-the-counter drugs in pre-addressed, postage-paid pouches and...
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