Easy to Obtain, Easy to Conceal
Music and drugs tend to go hand in hand in Nashville, Tennessee. The city is steeped in a tradition of moonshine and outlaws, and is also home to a tight-knit drug network on Broadway. Fearing police entanglement, both dealers and users in the city are switching to easy-to-hide prescription medicine (Rx). This trend has dubbed the city “Stashville, Tennessee.” However, Music City is just a blip on the map of the biggest trend of illegal and sometimes deadly drug distribution in America.
Accessible and Addictive
In the season finale of Drugs, Inc., the problem of prescription drug abuse is examined and brought to light. While these easily accessed and bartered drugs are becoming more prevalent overall, it is teens that are the most susceptible to the trend. Parents often do not discuss the health risks associated with Rx medicine that can be found around the house. Mistakenly, too many kids think if the pills come from a labeled bottle, they must be safe.
According to The Partnership at Drugfree.org, today’s youth find their drug of choice is often readily available in their parent’s medicine cabinet or from friends who are willing to sell their own prescriptions. In fact, more teens are abusing prescription medicine than ever before. Findings from The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by the MetLife Foundation, show that one in four teens have misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. This is a 33 percent increase from information available in 2008.
Many teens who try to cope with academic stresses and social pressures believe that there is no harm in over-the-counter medication, even if the prescription is not in their name. Current prescribed drugs used to combat the issue of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are considered helpful to anyone seeking a boost in their academic performance. Unfortunately, popping a pill as a study aid has become more and more common and teens who feel they need more sleep or who are suffering anxiety are also likely to raid the medicine cabinet for help. These behaviors can lead to a cycle of addition.
Putting an End to Prescription Drug Abuse
If these statistics and possibilities are a surprise to you, then now is the time to talk with your children. The Partnership at Drugfree.org has several suggestions for how to help reduce teen access to prescription medicines.
- Count your pills: Take note of how many pills are in bottles and note if any extra are missing.
- Monitor prescribed medicine: Monitor your own prescriptions, keep track of refills and monitor any prescriptions you child is taking.
- Keep pills secure: Place pills in a secure place that only you know about. Leaving medicine bottles in the cabinet may be asking for trouble.
- Talk to other parents: You may not have prescription drugs in your home or they may be secure, but share your knowledge with other family members, friends and parents.
Prescription medicine abuse is one of the most pressing health epidemics threatening the well-being of American Youth. Adults, as well as children, can fall victim to Rx medicine abuse because of the ease of access of these medications in almost every home. On this episode of Drugs Inc., it is obvious that in Tennessee, prescription pills are easier for dealers to conceal as legitimate.
Watch the season finale of Drugs, Inc.: Stashville, Tennessee on Sunday October 20 at 9PM ET/PT and find out more about the market and about those who are struggling with Rx drugs abuse.