- Talk openly. Get the facts. Educate yourself. And make sure to talk with your friends and family. If you are a parent, make sure to talk to your kids.
- Safeguard the medications at home. Make sure that painkillers and other prescription drugs are locked up and out of reach.
- Look for warning signs. Missing pills, behavior and personality changes, excessive energy, mood swings, change in appetite, slurred speech, irritability, forgetfulness, constricted pupils, and more are all signs of abuse. If you suspect your child, friend or loved one is using prescription drugs, talk to them and get professional help right away.
- Learn about the most dangerous prescription drugs. Painkillers, also known as narcotics or opiates, have some of the same properties as heroin. Examples include: OxyContin (oxycodone), Percocet (oxycodone), Lortab (hydrocodone), Vicodin (hydrocodone) and Demerol (meperidine).
- Depressants are prescribed to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. Examples are: Nembutal (pentobarbital sodium), Valium (diazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam).
- Stimulants are often prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Examples include Ritalin and Dexedrine.
- Understand the risks. Painkiller addiction can happen to anyone. Prescription painkillers are most commonly abused by teens (especially younger teens), while stimulants are more often abused by older teens and college students. It’s important to educate yourself and your loved ones about the risks involved with taking prescription painkillers.
If you suspect that your children or someone you know is struggling with prescription painkiller addiction it’s important to take immediate action. Please call Horizon Health Services at 716.831.1800 for help now.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
NYS Department of Health Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement
NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
National Institute on Drug Abuse