Tag Archives: students

Prescription Drugs Involved in Assaults on Campus

assault victimSafety on college campuses has become a much-publicized issue, and rightfully so. Instances of rape and sexual assault are often reported on in the news and many college campuses are broadening their efforts to educate and prevent on campus sexual violence. In keeping with this, a group of researchers has determined that non-medical use of prescription medication was linked to instances of this type of criminal behavior in large numbers compared to any other drug besides alcohol. This is important information because many colleges, students and parents may be overlooking this connection.

After surveying 1,755 college students throughout the country, the investigative team from the University of Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions found that 500 admitted to recreational use of prescription medications. Of these 500 students, 14% were a part of a sexual situation that they regretted. Among the female students in this group, 7.1% reported being sexually assaulted while under the influence of prescription medication. The study also asked students to specify which drugs they were taking when the abuse or unwanted sex took place. Both the females and males stated that they were misusing prescription sedatives like Xanax at the times of these incidents.

It is important that people understand that this study is not pointing fingers at those that have been abused after taking prescription medication. “The responsibility for rape or any sexual assault always falls squarely with the perpetrator,” explained Kathleen Parks, senior research scientist. However, students can protect themselves by refraining from abusing prescription sedatives. These drugs have the potential to cloud a person’s judgement, cause them to lose consciousness, or overdose – especially when paired with alcohol.

Studies like the ones conducted by Parks and her team serve to educate society and students about the dangers of all types of substances, even those seemingly less harmful. Illustrating the exact consequences associated with the misuse of prescription sedatives shows students concrete outcomes. This study, paired with the increased media attention of college rapes and assaults may serve to save many others from similar situations. The study will appear in the December issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.

If you have a loved one who has a prescription drug problem, contact us today for more information about successful treatment options.

Majority of High School Heroin Users Started with Prescription Opioids

Drug and Alcohol DependenceResearchers at New York University reported that about 75% of high school heroin users started off using prescription painkillers first. The fact that so many children have access to prescription opioids illustrates the need for more effective policies regarding the availability of these drugs, as over prescribing continues to be a problem.

While there have been some changes over the years when it comes to prescribing practices of opiates, the drugs are still easy for people of all ages to obtain. This is likely due to the fact that many doctors are still in the dark when it comes to being able to spot signs of addiction and many people are able to sell their prescriptions for much more on the street. It is also known that students often get prescription drugs by taking them from another family member or getting them from a classmate who has done so.

Just like heroin, prescription painkillers are extremely addictive. For some people, it may only take one week of continued use of opiates to become dependent on them. They start to experience withdrawal effects if they stop taking them, and eventually their tolerance builds, requiring them to take more just to achieve the same effect.

Abstaining from prescription pills is equally as hard as it is to quit heroin. Withdrawal symptoms from both types of drugs are intense and long lasting. When the pills become too hard to find or afford, addicts often move to heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain.

The University sent out a release regarding the study, which appeared in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. “As frequency of lifetime opioid use increased, so too did the odds for reporting heroin use, with over three-quarters of heroin users reporting lifetime nonmedical opioid use. More frequent and more recent nonmedical opioid use was associated with increased odds for reporting heroin use,” explained Dr. Joseph J. Palamar, an associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center.

To emphasize the danger of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse, the public was also warned that heroin overdose deaths had almost tripled since 2010. Deaths from prescription painkillers have also quadrupled since 1999. In addition to getting a wrangle on the prescribing practices of these drugs, it is also clear that much more effort be placed behind providing effective education and prevention programs.