Prescription drug abuse is when someone uses medication in a way not intended by a doctor or to achieve a “high.” This is one of the biggest health issues facing teenagers today. After alcohol and marijuana, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs by teens and young adults. Teens who begin using a prescription drug before age 15 are 6.5 times more likely to develop a substance abuse issue than people who delay use until 21 years of age or older.

Why do teens abuse prescription drugs?

Teenagers abuse prescription drugs for many reasons. These include:

  • Peer pressure
  • To stop pain
  • To get high
  • Boredom
  • Lack of involvement in school activities
  • To stay alert
  • To be more competitive

What prescription drugs are commonly abused by teens?

The three classes of prescription drugs often abused by young people include:

  • Opioids – These include painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone.
  • Benzodiazepines – Commonly abused drugs in this category are alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium).
  • Stimulants – These are drugs often used to treat ADHD, such as Ritalin and Adderall.

How bad is the prescription drug problem among young people?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), around 8% of youths ages 12 to 17 admitted to using prescription drugs recreationally in 2010 alone. Compared to 10 years ago, the number of teens and young adults going to rehab to day for prescription drug addiction is three times more now. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2015 to medicate every adult in the U.S. around the clock for a month.


What makes rehab centers for teens different?

A number of factors dictate the kinds of treatment required for teenagers. Among these are the substance of abuse, the individual’s developmental stage, and co-occurring mental health issues. Finding an appropriate treatment center is vital for a successful recovery. Teen rehab facilities offer similar structures as adult centers, but approach treatment differently. Substance abuse counselors and doctors focus on teaching teens the value of life without drugs.

What is rehab like?

Each rehab facility has its own treatment programs and methods, but most offer similar basic therapy. A form of detoxification (detox) is standard, which involves removal of the toxic substances from the body. Because some drugs have severe withdrawal symptoms, supervised detox ensures the patient’s safety. Inpatient programs provide a structured environment, whereas outpatient rehab allows the teen to go home each evening.

Rehab centers enforce a strict schedule, and they have designated times for eating, recreation, and therapy. Some centers use alternative therapies, but individual counseling and group meetings are included. The advantage of a teen program is that therapy is tailored to meet the teen’s individual needs. Therapists are trained to address issues and problems unique to your age group, including self-esteem and peer pressure.

US Rehab Network offers premier recovery centers for prescription drug addiction in teens. Most insurance is accepted, and there are many treatment settings to choose from. Call us today at (888) 598-0909!