When our 3 year old daughter got Leukemia, over the months we had to keep drawers full of powerful drugs in the house for her treatment. Though we’ve never had any kids with a drug problem, we knew this represented a temptation and potential danger for the younger kids who didn’t know better, and the older kids who might be curious or peer pressured. So we locked it all up.
Since then, I’ve been hearing more and more about the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse… not just by willing adults but by kids who see it all as “fun”. If you are a parent, and you aren’t on alert about prescription drugs, you are making a huge mistake. Statistics shows that high school and college kids are several times more likely to get high on prescription drugs than illegal.
And where are they getting them? Parents bathrooms, the “drug cabinet” at home, and if you haven’t thought about it, better wake up about the Grandparents house. The elderly typically have a small pharmacy of drugs, no kids around, and it doesn’t even cross their mind that grandkids might pilfer their medicine cabinet, a few pills here, and few pills there. Purses, nightstands, bathrooms, kitchens, cabinet drawers… kids aren’t stupid. They see it. They know where it's at and more and more, know what "the good stuff" looks like.
Oxycontin, Fentynal, Vicodin, methodone, Xanax… kids are trading pills at schools like Pokemon cards (yes, I’m showing my age). Drug overdoses and DEATHS are on a shocking increase because kids (and parents) don’t understand how much more powerful prescribed drugs are than most illegal ones. Kids wash it down with alcohol making the danger exponentially worse. It’s just “fun” to them and since it’s not “illegal” drugs, they somehow think that equates to “no danger, no consequence”.
After all, what good parent would leave drugs sitting around that would kill their own kids?What’s scary is, the amount of prescription drug it takes to get a great high is already dangerously close to the amount that can kill you. Wash it down with a shot of liquor and yesterday’s High School cheerleader is today’s subject of grief counseling.
For you Christians out there, it is interesting to note that the Bible clearly states that drug use* would be a rampant problem in the last days of human history. In the past, we’ve always naturally assumed that meant illegal drugs. Illegal drug use PALES in comparison to the use, and increasingly the abuse of prescription drugs (and adults are leading by example... a pill for every ailment, bad mood, negative emotion or just to escape). Anyone can get them, including kids. Go to the Doctor, complain about a symptom and get a prescription. If a Doctor refuses, just go to another Doctor. It’s easy to get illegal drugs. It’s effortless to get legal ones.
Due to many cultural developments that are too involved to elaborate on here, we’ve become a “pill for every ailment” society whether physical, mental or emotional. The current generation of kids are growing up learning to ask for “medicine” for any discomfort or problem, real or perceived. By the time they are teens, they have no mental reservation at all about popping pills.
I’m 45 and we rarely took pills growing up. REALLY sick? Maybe something for fever and headache. Or the occasional antibiotic from the Doctor. Kids today are fed a diet of pills for everything from the common cold to depression to the inability to pay attention to any slight discomfort.
Given the billions and billions and billions of dollars in profit for the medical community, there is NO incentive for them to do anything accept INCREASE the availability and prescription of more and more drugs. Just like the Bible predicted. We now can see this is primarily referring to drug use that is blessed, applauded, condoned and encouraged by the human race.
Things you should do:
- Lock up your drugs where you kids have NO access to them; this includes over the counter medicines that don’t require a prescription.
- Be much more cautious and hesitant to give your kids pills; there is no benefit for them to fix every little discomfort with a pill. Back in the old fashioned, out-of-touch days, parents use to realize that some adversity and discomfort helped kids to be strong and more resilient and less whiney. Less whiney? Wouldn’t that be nice.
- Reconsider your decision to use drugs for emotional and behavioral issues; we use to RAISE kids and PARENT kids; now we’ve allowed a highly profitable mental health and pharmaceutical industry to convince us that behavioral and emotional difficulties can be remedied or controlled by chemicals (the effectiveness of which is COMPLETELY unproven, and increasingly contradicted by evidence as dangerous and ineffective)
- Talk to Grandma and Grandpa about locking up their medicines in their home
- Education your kids about prescription drugs. They are not harmless. They are more powerful than most illegal drugs, and it only takes a pill or two of the wrong kind or mixture and a couple of beers to kill you. Teach them not to listen to their “no big deal” friends. They are toying with death.
- If your kids get a prescription for an injury or illness DO NOT ALLOW them to hang on to or dispense their own doses. Given them ONLY what they need and lean towards ending the use of them sooner rather than later (doesn’t apply to antibiotics which MUST be taken until finished).
- Be suspicious of your kids friends who ask to use your bathroom. Keep your drugs OUT of the bathroom and locked up where they will never have access. Not only could you be saving a life, you might be saving yourself the liability of some kid overdosing on YOUR drugs and the inevitable lawsuit that will follow.
* Gal 5:19-21; Revelation 9:21; and others – the Greek word for witchcraft or sorcery is “pharmakeia” which is where we get our word for pharmacy… in other words, drug use. It makes no distinction about legal or illegal, just drug use. Some people say that the Bible does specifically say “in the last days… “ about drug use but if you read the context of the verses and place them in their proper overview of God’s chronology, it’s plain that this is the warning God intended for us. We ignore that or attempt to explain it away at our own peril . The message is clear and human experience now plainly gives evidence to it’s accuracy.