As a provider who doesn’t have the prescriptive authority to write prescriptions for scheduled drugs, maybe I just don’t have the right perspective when it comes to giving drugs to our children.
Maybe if someone magically waved a wand over my head and gave me the prescriptive authority for scheduled drugs, I would understand in what circumstance I would give a high school kid a narcotic like Vicodin or Percocet. Maybe then the fact, in this study, that 17.6% of high school seniors had been given such prescriptions would make sense.
Maybe they have cancer pain. Severe postsurgical pain. Chronic pain. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Maybe even post herpetic neuralgia following shingles.
Maybe it’s been dental work or that tough cough that just won’t go away.
Or, maybe after that wand was waved over my head I still would remain just as incredulous that opioid prescriptions are written at all, let alone to high school seniors. After all, what would the aforementioned high school seniors have that couldn’t be addressed with solid chiropractic care? I can say that the number of high school students that I have seen in my office that did not experience very solid and rapid results were few and far between.
Worse, “properly” prescribed opioids are becoming the new gateway drug.
This particular study unearths some very disturbing data on opioid use in high school seniors. Here’s what they found:
- 17.6% of high school seniors reported medical use of prescription opioids
- 12.9% reported nonmedical use
- More than 37% of nonmedical users used intranasal administration
- 80% of nonmedical users with an earlier history of medical use had obtained prescription opioids from a prescription they had previously
- The odds of substance use behaviors were greater among individuals who reported nonmedical use of prescription opioids
Basically, almost 1 in 4 high school seniors have been exposed to opioids. If they have been exposed, this greatly increases the risk that they may use these drugs in a non-medical use.
The bottom line is that this class of drugs has gotten way out of hand and the death toll is rising. Our society’s permissive behaviors towards prescription drugs is bleeding over into our kids. Consider that the next time you pop a Lipitor as you walk into McDonalds.
What should you do? First, ANY type of non-life-threatening injury or pain in a child (or an adult, for that matter) should be seen by your local chiropractor first. Research has shown that the average PCP hands out opioids way too easily in acute episodes of pain.
Second, if for some reason your child does manage to get prescribed pain medication for something, throw the container in the garbage (properly sealed, of course, so it doesn’t end up back in the environment) so there is no potential for abuse of that particular prescription.
Did your child’s pediatrician right him or her a script for an opioid containing medication?