LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - One of the fastest growing types of drug abuse in America is through prescription drugs, and the numbers are high in both teens and adults.
A new study shows just how bad it is in teens and why parents may want to start talking with their kids. East Texas News talked to experts about this life-threatening trend.
Lots of parents say they talk to their teens about many social issues, but a new study reveals one area is not being is discussed at the dinner table.
Lynda James, the program coordinator at the Alcohol and Drug abuse Council of Deep East Texas, said she wasn't surprised by the numbers.
"I'm kind of surprised that it is that much," James said. "I would have thought 75, 25, but 14 and 86, yeah, that's pretty high."
"There seems to be drugs with every generation," Gary Hendrick, a local pharmacy owner, said. First it was Valium and now it's Xanax. It used to be codeine and now it is hydrocodone."
Just released by www.drugfree.org show nearly 25 percent of all teens have abused a prescription drug at least once, that's about 33 percent increase from five years ago. What's even more alarming is the fact that the study concludes only 14 percent of parents talk to their teens about the issue.
Hendrick, who has been a pharmacist for 42 years, said the dangers are very real.
"You run the potential of very bad side effects, including death," Hendrick said.
Counselors for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Deep East Texas say that parents should not assume that their child is not capable of abusing and to look for common characteristics.
"A change in the way they look at you. They become secretive," James said.
One way to stop drug abuse is by eliminating getting rid of any extra pills.
"Take them back to your pharmacist and let them dispose of them for you," James said.
However, the best way of stopping the problem is by talking to your teens. Experts at ADAC say that the best time to start talking to your children is around 5th grade. To learn more about ways to stop drug abuse, visit the ADAC Website.