Get a Grip on Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drugs are medications that are prescribed to a patient by a doctor for legitimate health reasons, like treating cancer, mental illness or easing pain after a surgery. Taking a pill that is prescribed for someone other than you is dangerous and considered prescription drug abuse — even if you only do it once.

When abused, many prescription drugs can be as dangerous and addictive as illegal “street” drugs.

Using a prescription drug to get high is not safer than taking an illegal drug. Prescription drugs are powerful and can be as dangerous as taking an illegal drug like cocaine or heroin. Even one improper use of a prescription drug can be dangerous. Abuse of prescription drugs also can result in addiction, serious health issues, and in some cases, can be deadly.


Mixing prescription drugs with alcohol can be unsafe and potentially fatal.

Many teens may not realize that mixing certain prescription medications with alcohol can be very dangerous. In combination, prescription medications and alcohol can cause nausea and vomiting, internal bleeding and breathing difficulties. When mixed in larger quantities, the combination can be deadly.

What’s the bottom line?

Getting prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal, and abusing prescription medications can be dangerous.

So what’s a kid suppose to do?

Get the Facts


The more you know about the risks of abusing prescription drugs, the better able you will be to make smart choices.

Talk to Your Parents

Even if it feels weird or awkward, talk to your parents. They love you and want to be there for you. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with them or ask questions – no matter what you’ve already done. Start the conversation today, and let them know that you need their support without their judgment. Together with your parents, you can work through the problem.

Manage Stress

Most everyone at some point in their lives feels stressed and goes through difficult times. Some people believe they can manage their stress and feel better by taking prescription drugs. The reality is that drugs don’t fix the problems that are causing the stress in the first place.

Help a Friend

It’s hard to watch friends make bad choices. It’s also hard to get involved and start a conversation with them about their behavior. If you know someone who might have a problem with prescription drug abuse you can begin the conversation and get them help.