One of the biggest problems with prescription medications is that we cannot always know what they do to the body. In teenagers, especially those under the age of 18, anti-depressants can sometimes wreak havoc in ways that were not expected. One unintentional side effect that sometimes occurs from anti-depressant use is addiction. Teens may alter their dosage amount so that they are no longer taking the prescription medication in the manner in which it was prescribed, and this can cause even more issues with time. If you suspect that your teenager may be suffering from anti-depressant abuse and anti-depressant addiction or , it is within your power to get them help as long as you know what you should be looking for.
The problem with abuse of an anti-depressant is that your teenager is probably supposed to be taking the anti-depressant, but somewhere along the line they stopped taking it in the manner in which it was prescribed. The problem with prescription medications that are as serious as anti-depressants is the fact that as you take them over prolonged periods, a physical dependency can form. When the physical dependency forms, the body seems to crave more and more of the medication in order to achieve the same effects that the user once had. In other words, while your teen may have been taking 25 mg of something in the past, they now feel as if they need to take 50 mg, 75 mg or even 100 mg of the same drug in order to get the same effect.
While an adult patient might approach their physician and ask for help with this problem, some teens feel that they can deal with the issue themselves and so they begin taking the drug in off label manners, which means that they are taking the drug in a way that it was not prescribed. They may take more of the drug per dosage, or they may take more frequent dosages in order to calm the depression symptoms.
The best way for you to determine whether or not there is a substance abuse problem going on is to monitor what your teenager is taking and in what dosage amounts. If the pills seem to be disappearing more quickly than they are supposed to, then something is clearly going on. Your teenager should only be taking his or her medication according to the instructions on the prescription and in no other manner. If you have any questions at all about how much of the anti-depressant your child is taking, you should contact his or her physician. The physician should be able to tell you how much of the drug should be taken as well as how much is allowed to be taken, and this can help you determine whether or not anti-depressant abuse is taking place.
Depression is a serious affliction, and if your teenager is going through depression or a similar psychological condition, then dealing with the subject of addiction is probably going to be even harder. Unfortunately, if your teenaged son or daughter is misusing anti-depressants, then they are putting themselves in serious harm’s way, and you need to be able to put a stop to it.
If you determine that your child is abusing prescription medications, then the first thing that you are going to want to do is determine why. Sit down with your child and an intervention specialist and find out what is going on. Is the depression getting worse? Are the pills not doing what they are supposed to? See if your child will attend a session with a psychologist to determine what the underlying problem is so that you can undo the hold of the addiction.