‘Benzos’ Are Rising in Popularity Among Teens and They’re Getting Them On Social Media

Teen addiction to benzodiazepines, called “benzos” for short, is on the rise, and these drugs are easier for teens to access—and get addicted to—than most parents think. In fact, they can be as easy to order as direct-messaging a dealer on Instagram.

“Benzodiazepines are one of the most commonly prescribed classes of psychoactive drugs,” says Lawrence Weinstein, M.D., chief medical officer at American Addiction Centers. “In the past 20 years, benzodiazepine prescriptions for adolescents have doubled. With the medication being so prevalent, it is not uncommon for a teen to either be prescribed the medication themselves, have a parent who keeps a prescription in the home, or know of someone with that prescription.”

Even if teens do not have direct access to a prescription, finding a supplier can be as simple as logging into their social networks like Snapchat, TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. “Where teens are getting these drugs from is simple: If they are social and tech-savvy, they can access them,” says Dr. Weinstein.

Full story at Parents.com

Teens Who Take Prescription Painkillers May be at Greater Risk of Future Opioid Misuse

Teens who are prescribed opioid painkillers may be at greater risk of future opioid misuse, a new study suggests. Use of painkillers in high school was associated with a 33 percent increased risk of later misuse.

The greatest risk was among teens with little or no history of drug use, and those who strongly disapproved of illegal drug use, according to HealthDay.

The study included data from more than 6,200 high school seniors, who were followed until they were 23. Lead researcher Richard Miech of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor said the finding may be explained in part by the novelty of the effects of drug use. In teens with no exposure to drugs, a prescription opioid is likely to be their first experience with an addictive substance, he said.

Full story of prescription painkiller abuse and opioid addiction at drugfree.org