Abuse of OTC and Prescription drugs among Teens

A drug is a substance that has ability to alter the physical functioning of the body. Depending on why and how the drug is taken, its usage can either be correct or otherwise said to be abused (Cooper, 2013). Drug abuse entails all the drug uses that go against the dosage or the intended prescription (Lessenger & Feinberg, 2008). A right drug taken for a wrong reason, say to be high rather than to treat an ailment, is said to be abused. According to the survey on general drug use, marijuana is the most abused drug followed by health prescription drugs. About one million teens, especially those between 12 to 17 years, have accepted that they have abused the prescription drugs. Based on the world population, this means that within every 6 teenagers, at least one has abused the prescription drugs. The most commonly abused prescription drugs amongst the teens are painkillers followed by stimulants (Levine, 2007). The prevalence of prescription drugs and over the counter OTC abuse amongst the teenagers is increasing due to a number of reasons which includes but not limited to; ease of access, wrongful impression of safety usage, low cost and legal nature of the drugs amongst other factors. In this work, a critical analysis of the deteriorated health crisis is reported with emphasis on the status of drug abuse amongst the teens specifically in Bedrock.

Abuse of OTC and Prescription drugs among Teens in Bedrock

The area has recorded a rising number of teens who have devised mechanisms of accessing and abusing OTC and other prescription drugs. In just one year, in excess of 20 students were expelled for reasons attached to drug abuse in Bedrock alone. Without effective measure to counteract the rising drug abuse among teens, a number of them will be lost through addiction and other serious effects of the act, thus threatening the workforce of the next generation. This problem has recently emanated in a number of ways by students who are keen not to be caught. For example, a student went outside the classroom in a full sunlight glare and then hinted that she could not see. When the case was reviewed, she admitted to have taken Oxycodone which is responsible for the loss of vision. Amongst the students, the majorly abuse the OTC and prescription drugs to get high and further abuse additional drugs to conceal their “highness”. There are indeed a number of ways the teens pass the drug information between them without arousing the interest of the authorities concerned either in their presence or absence.


This work is based on the research that assumed that every student found in possession of drugs within the school compound is indeed abusing it. Contrary to this fact, there are genuine cases of students using OTC and other prescription drugs for genuine health reasons

Risk factor to the population

Other than getting high which is the major reasons attached to students’ abuse of drugs, the effect can be extended to the general population. Firstly, the effect of drug abuse may lead to the loss of a precious dear life of other persons close to the user. For instance, Petra’s story of abuse resulted in the loss of life of an innocent pedestrian. In addition, there are cases where a student is genuinely in need of urgent life support drugs such as insulin for the diabetic students. If it happens that the insulin drug is lacking as a result of being stolen by another student, then the one who genuinely needs it may succumb to the dangerous effect of sugar level. Secondly, OTC and prescription drug abuse can threaten the life of the user as well through addiction. An example is a case where a student lost her vision for having taken Oxycodone.

An action plan to mitigate the problem

The Bedrock mobilizing community in partnership with the health department, school heads, youth council, faith groups, community agencies, parents, teachers, law enforcement and legislators decided to create an awareness to reach out to teens concerning the effects of drug abuse. In addition, a community based health crisis was also overseen by ‘Reuse Abuse’ to tackle the effects.


Cooper, R. J. (2013). Over-the-counter medicine abuse–a review of the literature. Journal of substance use18(2), 82-107.

Lessenger, J. E., & Feinberg, S. D. (2008). Abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine21(1), 45-54.