Young people are receiving more prescription medications, which contributes to addiction

By Staff Writer

Despite the fact that adolescents are more likely to abuse prescription drugs and develop addictions that require therapy from rehab facilities, doctors are increasingly offering these individuals prescriptions for powerful medications.

Over the course of the last 14 years, the number of prescriptions given to adolescents and young adults has nearly doubled, according to a new study published in the latest issue of the journal Pediatrics. Young adults saw the greatest increase in prescription rate, as more than 16 percent of 20- to 29-year-olds received controlled medications.

Researchers from the University of Rochester said that new medications have increased doctors’ ability to treat a range of conditions. However, it has become difficult for them to balance these benefits against the risk of addiction.

The findings of the investigation indicate that many doctors offer their younger patients powerful narcotics to treat relatively minor conditions like headaches and backaches. The researchers said that doctors should begin to take more responsibility for monitoring their patients who receive prescriptions to ensure that the medications are being taken appropriately.