In this lesson you are going to learn why your teenager is using prescription drugs and how to talk to them about this.

In it you will learn:

  • Why your teenager will try them
  • The real dangers of using prescription drugs
  • What you can do to address the situation
  • A sample talk you can have with your teenager
  • How our society creates a tolerant environment for their use


Concern Level: 9

Types: Vicodin, Oxycotin, Ritalin, Adderal, + too many to mention

You may notice that I’ve listed the concern level as “9” which is higher than everything else discussed except for hard drugs.

Why is that?

When our kids start taking pharmaceutical and prescription drugs, they’re reflecting and mimicking the biggest challenge we face as a society: escaping reality and numbing ourselves.

Look around at the world and you can see that whenever someone has a problem, we tell him/her to take a pill. What most adults fail to realize is that emotions are there for a reason and they’re not supposed to be swept under the rug. Feeling sad and depressed is a good thing because it’s saying very clearly, “Hey, I am not happy with life right now and I need to do something about it!”

Instead of looking at these feelings and emotions we take a pill and hope everything will work out. It won’t! In fact, things just get worse.

Teenagers using prescription drugs to get high is on the rise and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. If your teenager is going to any “pharm” party (short for pharmaceutical) you should definitely be concerned. These drugs (when poorly mixed) can cause a lot of damage and become quite addictive emotionally. More so, many teenagers mix alcohol with them and that’s a deadly cocktail.

Why They Do It

Remember, when addressing these types of issues focus on their state of being and “why” they are doing it.

1. Because they want to get high and have fun with their friends.
2. Because it’s a way to escape their feelings and emotions.
3. Because it’s easy to get and since most adults do it, they don’t feel like they’re doing anything wrong.

1. Fun – If your teenager is doing it just for fun, then your major concern is “how” they do it so they don’t harm themselves. It’s important to educate them about what they’re taking and what the drug can do. And while it’s not a healthy choice for them to be doing these drugs, if they’re just doing it to have fun you don’t need to be “as” alarmed. You should be concerned and explore the issue with them in the hope that you can paint a picture as to why not doing it would be a better choice for them. Simply put, they need to find something else that is just as fun.

2. Escape – If your teenager is taking the drugs to escape their emotions or life in any way, then you need to be highly concerned and get involved as much as possible without pushing them away. Remember, the drugs are not the issue here. It’s your teens state of being is the true issue. Stay focused on the root cause which is their emotional state of being.

3. Adults do it – Mimicking an adult is the main reason that most teenagers will take these drugs and assume it’s ok. It’s a hard thing for kids to swallow when they see their parents and family members taking pills and are then told that they’re not allowed to. Remember the importance of leading by example.
Approaching the Situation

The first thing you need to do is be honest with yourself. If you’re taking these drugs (most kids follow in their parents footsteps) to suppress any emotions, then your teen is reflecting your behavior. If this is the case, then you can’t approach them with any integrity until you’ve stopped taking the drugs yourself.

However, if you are taking them for a legitimate reason or are not taking them at all, here is how you can broach the subject:

First and foremost your energy and thoughts should be calm and centered remembering your unconditional love for your child. The most important thing is to find out why they’re taking them. You need to quickly find out if the drugs are being taken for recreational use or to suppress some emotional issue. If they’re just doing it for fun, while I’m in no way condoning the usage, you don’t need to be “as” concerned. Concerned yes, but not as much as you would be if they were taking the drugs to suppress their emotions. I suggest that you are straightforward with your teenager and say something to the effect of:

“I know that if you want to take these pharmaceutical drugs there is nothing I can do about it. If you’re taking them now I would really like to talk about it to see why you’re taking them and what you get out of it. I want to make sure that you and I have the type of relationship where we can talk about anything and that if you’re having any problems you can talk to me. Are you doing it for fun or to escape some emotions you may not be dealing with? While pharmaceutical drugs are socially acceptable in our society and not as physically addictive as alcohol and tobacco, they can still cause a lot of harm. I want you to know that no matter what I love you and am here for you.”

The most important thing you need to find out is if they’re taking them just for fun or to cope with some emotions. If it’s to cope with emotions, you need to nip this in the bud as soon as possible. If it’s just for fun, then know that it’s a phase and the best thing you can do is educate them so they know what they’re getting themselves into. The key here is to make sure they know how you feel about it (that you prefer them to not do it and that you do not condone these actions) while at the same time being realistic about the fact that they can do it without you knowing. The best thing you can do is to keep them by your side while they’re doing it. If they’re doing it to suppress some emotions, then don’t focus on the drugs. Focus on their emotional state because they will stop taking the drugs once their emotions and state of being are positive.

Either way, you’re in for a ride and your patience is going to be tested. Stay calm and centered and know that there is no quick fix here.

You will also need to find out which drugs your teen is taking and educate yourself so you can be there for them armed with as much information as possible to help keep them safe.

See also…



Hard Drugs



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Want more tips?

Alcohol – How to talk to your teen about alcohol

Anger – How to help your teen address their anger issues

Being Cool & Popular – How to talk to your teen about not being cool & popular

Boredom – How to talk to your teen when they are bored

Bullying – How to talk to your teen about bullying

Career & Life Purpose  – How to talk to your teen about building their future career & life purpose

Dating & Sex – How to talk to your teen about dating and sex

Depression – How to talk to your teen when they are depressed

Hurt Feelings – How to talk to your teen if they have hurt feelings

Lying – How to address your teen when you catch them lying

Money – How to talk to your teen about being responsible with money

Out of Control – How to talk to your teen when they are out of control

Overweight – How to talk to your when they become overweight

Partying – How to talk to your teen about partying

Rebellion – How to address teenage rebellion

School – Tips on how to address problems at school

Stealing – What to do if your teen is stealing

Technology Addiction – What to do if your teen is addicted to technology