Prescription drug abuse among teens

Learn about: Prescription drug abuse among teens from Michael Dennis, PhD,...
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Prescription drug abuse among teens

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In the past 20 years, prescription drug use has been forgone from being virtually unheard of among teenagers to the third most common substance that they us, abuse and seek treatment for. Now, this is a big sea change. First off, drugs have become much more widely available. They are marketed with mass media over the television set. They are use in the society as a quick fix and an easy cure so if I'm depressed, I'm broken up and I want to feel better, I might turn to a pill, pop a pill to make me get rid of any ache or pain. So as a society, we want pills to fix things for us. They don’t tend to really do that but the teens are responding to the mass market kind of push on what these things can do and they will try them. We now have the cases of where better than one and four teens in high school and junior high school are trying prescription pills at some point. First off, we ask “Where do they get them?” Well, it turns out they are often getting them from their parents or the houses they visit, whether sitting by the bedside table, in a leaning closet, in a kitchen closet because we tend not to throw away the pills. We spend a lot of money for them. They're convenient to have around without having going to the doctor so everybody saves the bottle. It really is important to realize that when you have a teenage around the house, it is not just your teen but other teens coming over to your house maybe raiding those bottles of pills. So, you really want to treat them like a loaded gun and lock them up or if you don’t need them, get them out of the house and get rid of them.

Learn about: Prescription drug abuse among teens from Michael Dennis, PhD,...

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Michael Dennis, PhD

Psychologist

Michael Dennis, PhD, is a senior research psychologist and Director of the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center at Chestnut Health Systems in Normal, Illinois. Over the past 25 years his primary area of research has been to better understand and manage addiction and recovery over the life course. This includes multiple clinical trials to compare the effectiveness of adolescent treatment approaches and recovery support services, longitudinal studies with adolescents, adults and older adults to understand the predictors of entering and sustaining recovery, and creating the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center for teaching evidenced based assessment to support clinical decision making at the individual level and program evaluation. He has multiple awards for moving the field from science to practice, promoting diversity through practice based evidence and bringing more people into the field.

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