College Students Find It Easy To Obtain Prescription Drugs

prescription-drugsAround the country the use of prescription stimulants is quite common on college campuses, used with or without a prescription. Students will use drugs, such as Ritalin or Adderall, for more focus and energy while studying. While prescription stimulants can give a student an edge during finals, the drugs can be habit forming and lead to the use of other narcotics.

The selling or use of prescription drugs is illegal without a prescription from one’s doctor; nevertheless, use with of drugs without a prescription happens quite frequently. In fact, a new survey has found that college students in the U.S. have little trouble illegally acquiring prescription drugs on campus, HealthDay reports.

The 2015 College Prescription Drug Study

Researchers at Ohio State University found that 70 percent of the more than 3,900 survey respondents reported that obtaining medications without a prescription was somewhat “easy or very easy.” The data comes from students at six public and two private colleges and universities in five states across the country, and included undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

The data showed that about 18 percent of undergraduates misused prescription stimulants, according to the article. What’s more, 83 percent obtained the drugs from their friends. While prescription stimulant misuse was the most common, their survey showed a significant amount of prescription opioid misuse.

More Than Just Stimulants

The researchers found that 10 percent of undergraduates misused prescription opioids, and about one third of them reported that acquiring the drugs was “easy or very easy.” About 9 percent misused sedatives, and 44 percent said it was “easy or very easy” to obtain the drugs.

“Overall, 1 in 4 undergraduates reported that they used prescription pain medications, sedatives or stimulants for nonmedical reasons in their lifetimes,” said study author Anne McDaniel, associate director of research and data management at Ohio State University’s Center for the Study of Student Life, in a press release.

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Please contact Next Step Intervention if you are struggling with prescription drugs. We can assist you in finding the right treatment which will help you start your journey of recovery.

An Intervention May Be The First Step In The “Improbable” Journey Of Recovery

Finding “tools” to understand Interventions

We launched our blog on October 18, 2012, and at that time we promised to share news about addiction, mental health, family issues and the efficacy of interventions. Since that time our posts have dealt with tools of recovery, particularly the power of interventions and the varied ways that people can learn about and experience interventions.

If you are a regular reader, then you know that we once discussed how the A & E series INTERVENTION became a teaching “tool” for not only those suffering from the disease of addiction, but also the addict’s family members and friends.

Last month we turned our lens on the powerful AMC television series Mad Men. Specifically, we discussed how Don Draper faced a workplace intervention and the sometimes futile steps Draper has taken to getting sober and dealing with his chronicled mental health issues.

Again, sometimes we learn by reading a news story or a novel, or watching a movie or even other television series like HOUSE or NURSE JACKIE. But, there are other inspired tools that can urge one toward an intervention.

The Improbable Players offer live theater to audiences of middle and high school students

Now in its 30th year, the non-profit Boston based  Improbable Players bills itself as “educational theater for substance abuse prevention.” This theater troupe was founded by Lynn Bratley, M.Ed., and she continues to serve as the Artistic Director. The players have a clearly defined mission:

“to set the stage for prevention by educating the public about addiction and recovery through dramatic performances and theater workshops -presented by actors who are in long-term recovery from addictions – that help people recognize situations in their own lives and seek the help they need.”

In November 2012, William L. White had the opportunity to interview Lynn Bratley where they discuss her vision and evolution of the Improbable Players. Take a few minutes to read this interview.

Improbable Players at Medford High School 2009

Here is a four minute clip from the stage play presented to Medford High School.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

Currently the Improbable Players offer five different plays and you can find out about booking them for your school here and see their current calendar here. They are working on a new play The Rope Tightens Around P.B. which will be ready for touring in September 2014.  It deals with opioid drugs:

“…It’s the 38 a day who die from prescription drug overdoses. That’s 2 classrooms disappeared /That’s 38 absent friends/That’s 76 weeping parents/Every. Single. Day.”

 

How the Improbable Players impact students…

This week NorthJersey.com published an article about the Improbable Players production at the Woodland Park Middle School.  The entire student body was invited and afterwards they were requested to complete evaluation forms.

Students who attend these productions usually find that they feel safe sitting with their classmates. Like any live theater production the audience is the fourth wall and with realistic theater the actors will often break that boundary and interact with the audience. While audience participation is not always verbal, one gets a sense that they are with others who understand what their life is about.  Here is one counselor’s impact statement from 2011.

“Less than a week after the program, we had the freshman and sophomores meet in groups of 12 students and an adult to reinforce the messages from the presentation, answer questions, and get feedback from the students on their own personal experiences. Many were talking about how the Players’ presentation was something that they can personally relate to, and in addition there were able to point out how their families were like or not alike a specific actor/actress. They were able to discuss experiences of their own in a safe place.”

 

Some closing thoughts…

Many families have one or more members who are suffering from addiction. Millions of children under the age of 18 live with a parent who is an alcoholic. This problem is not new. It is not even new for playwrights to journal the experience of families dealing with alcoholism and addiction. Consider Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Written in 1942, but first published in 1956, it won the 1957 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Four characters – mother, father and two adult sons. The mother is addicted to morphine and the three men are alcoholics. The entire play takes place in one day.  And then there is Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. This play, too, deals with family relationships and alcoholism.

Novels, plays, movies, and televisions series can serve as conversation starters. And the intervention process starts with a conversation with the interventionist about the loved one you would like to help. Because of professional experience in the field of addiction and recovery, the interventionist has heard it all – there are no stories or situations that haven’t already been heard and no story or situation will be judged, it will all be kept with the utmost level of confidentiality. Although it seems trifling to tell personal details to someone you don’t know, upon sharing your situation your reservation will be met with warmth and understanding and the weight you feel will begin to lift as solutions are proposed.

It may be an intervention will be the first step in your loved one’s recovery journey!

 

 

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FOMO ~ Binge Drinking ~ Interventions

What we can glean from watching television…

It is early November and many new college students are fast approaching that first visit home for the holidays. And it could be that many parents might be in for a surprise. Parents may find themselves facing the startling news that their young college student has developed some bad habits while being away at college.

We got to thinking about this today because last evening we watched an episode of NBC’s PARENTHOOD and early this morning a couple of news stories caught our attention.

PARENTHOOD’s depiction of dorm life at UC Berkeley…

If you are not a regular viewer of PARENTHOOD, here is a very tight synopsis, provided by the PARENTHOOD’s website, of what happened last evening between to two UC Berkeley freshmen, Drew and Natalie.

While studying in his dorm room, Drew is interrupted by a knock from Natalie, completely wasted and obviously horny. Drew remains clueless until she throws herself at him. He’s not going to complain! However, in the morning, everything’s back to normal. Does she even remember last night?

 

ABC News covers binge drinking at UC Berkeley

This morning we watched with interest as ABC News KGO-San Francisco covered a news story of how binge drinking at UC Berkeley is putting a strain on the City of Berkeley’s EMS System.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

FOMO (Fear of missing out)

In the world we live in we all find ourselves always “checking” social media. Some older adults will set limits for themselves, vowing only to check Facebook or their email once per day. But you know the feeling; you can sit in a restaurant and watch a family of four consume an entire meal without ever looking at each other. Why? Because each person has their hand-held device and they are all may be suffering from FOMO!

Young teens and young adults almost always want to fit in. They yearn to be part of the in-crowd. Aiden Cochrane of the University of Virginia wrote in The Cavalier Daily:

“To me, FOMO is the anxiety created when we must choose a single course of action at the expense of missing out on a number of appealing others. More drastic cases of FOMO can make the patients take part in an activity — that their better judgment would normally preclude — for the sole reason of being too afraid to miss out on any sort of experience, with enjoyment not even guaranteed.”

 

Parents and family members should be aware as the holidays approach…

As the holidays approach and hopefully you have a few extra hours to sit down with your teenager or young adult child to really talk about their life and how things are going. It is important to remember when our children are unsafe, we don’t feel safe and engaging in addictive behavior (like binge drinking) is very unsafe.

Often, parents inflict excess suffering upon themselves by thinking that they are at fault for their child’s addiction or that somehow they could have done something different to prevent it. This is not the case. Teens and young adults face an inordinate amount of pressure from peers and are increasingly exposed to drugs in social situations. When the rebelliousness seems to no longer be a phase and your child has become increasingly withdrawn, depressed and isolated, it is time to seek help.

Teens are at greater risk of overdose because of the high rates of those who engage in prescription drug abuse and drug cocktails. Every year thousands of parents in the US get help for their children through interventions and proper placement in drug treatment programs. Even if your child is in high school or college, treatment for their addiction must be a priority. With the prominence of addiction in teens and young adults, educational institutions work with parents and communities understand. Most parents feel as though they have already lost their child, and they have to an extent – as the addiction has taken over their child’s sense of logic, responsibility and life aspirations. These do come back however after learning how to live life without drugs and alcohol regardless of outside pressure from friends and peers. To learn more about how this is possible and what steps can be taken, contact us.

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