There’s a lot of information out there about prescription drugs, and it can be tough to distinguish myths from facts. When it comes to drugs and drug abuse, it’s important to get the facts from reliable sources. In the Web Hunt below, discover facts about prescription drugs from the scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the leading supporter of research on drug abuse and addiction in the United States.
This handy sheet will help you keep track of the facts you learn about prescription drugs and prescription-drug abuse:
Myths vs. Facts: Prescription Drugs Web Hunt Sheet (PDF)
1. Some teens mistakenly believe that abusing prescription drugs is a “safer” alternative to abusing illegal drugs. Why is this myth untrue?
2. Before writing a prescription for medication, what factors does a doctor evaluate?
3. Give three examples of how prescription drugs can be abused.
4. Abusing prescription drugs can lead to changes in your brain. In what ways does this happen and how does it put you at risk for addiction?
5. What factors play a role in whether someone becomes addicted to prescription drugs?
6. What type of drugs are opioids and what do they treat?
7. The number of accidental fatal poisonings involving prescription pain relievers has more than tripled since 1999. In addition to overdose, what are some of the other health risks of abusing prescription painkillers?http://headsup.scholastic.com/students/prescription-pain-medications/
8. Besides negative health effects, what other adverse effects can result from prescription drug abuse and addiction?
9. What type of drugs are stimulants and how do they affect the brain and body?
10. Millions of kids (and adults) safely take prescription stimulants to effectively treat disorders such as ADHD. How do prescription stimulants treat ADHD?
11. What are the dangers of abusing prescription stimulants to help cram for a test or to try to lose weight?
12. Why can abusing prescription stimulants have effects on the body that are similar to the effects of abusing cocaine?
1. What are some of the treatments for addiction to prescription pain medications and to prescription stimulants?
2. How can you protect yourself from addiction or other potential negative health effects of abusing prescription drugs?
Find more facts about prescription drugs at these NIDA sites:
PEERx: Rx Abuse IS Drug Abuse
Resources and activities to give teens the facts about prescription-drug abuse so they can make smart decisions
NIDA for Teens
Facts about drugs and drug abuse, along with games and real-life stories
Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body
Developed with NIDA and Scholastic, this series provides the latest scientific news about drugs, drug addiction, and your health.
(Header image credits: magnifying glass, © DNY59/iStockphoto; question mark, © Kulev/iStockphoto; prescription bottles, © Steven Poe/Workbook Stock/Getty Images.)