Parents FAQ

When trying to determine if your teen is misusing or abusing prescription drugs, much depends on which prescription drug your teen may be misusing or abusing, for how long, and how often. Note that the symptoms of prescription drug abuse are often similar to symptoms of illicit “street” drug abuse – there is no sure way to tell if a prescription drug is at fault without blood, urine, or other laboratory tests.

Possible signs of prescription drug abuse include:

  • Abnormal drowsiness.
  • Unusual agitation, restlessness, or disturbed sleep.
  • Rapid pulse, rapid breathing, and sweating for no obvious reason.
  • Inability to concentrate or focus.
  • Abrupt changes in personality or manner.
  • Secretive or evasive behavior.
  • Unexplained disappearance of medications from the home, especially painkillers and depressants.
  • Sudden changes in performance at school or sports.
  • Unusual irritability, aggression.

When in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution, and seek medical advice if you observe these signs.