Older people who have had drugs available to them for decades may start to using them more frequently than intended by the original prescription. If a little makes them feel good, more may be even better, they reason. That scenario for taking too much medication is at least a hundred years old. A severe example of inappropriate use is the filling of prescriptions that were written for a deceased spouse. When this happens, the person will generally need intervention methods that will help them to get off the drugs. As a result, prescription drug rehab is now a standard component of many health insurance plans.

When younger people become dependent on prescription drugs they often do not have legal prescriptions, so they may buy them on the street, or sometimes even turn to crime to get the money to support their habits. An all too familiar scenario is that of a teenage athlete who requires surgery for an injury, then becomes dependent on the strong medication used for pain during recuperation. When the prescription runs out, he resorts to illegal ways to get more pills. When youth are prescribed medications for hyperactivity, they are sometimes approached by peers to share their pills who want to use them to get “high”. Close adult supervision is important to help them deal with this pressure, so they don’t become accidental drug dealers.

Secure Your Meds

If you have any of the prescription drugs that are used illegally, it is important to secure them. If someone asks to use your bathroom, there is always the possibility they want to see if you have any medications kept there that they might “borrow.” An unsecured bathroom cabinet is not a good place to keep prescription medications. A drug dependent teen with a grandparent who has sought-after drugs is a potentially hazardous combination.