Children on RX Drugs Become Adults with Drug Addictions
Posted Feb 21 2011 11:50pm
The following is a guest post by Leslie Botha, Marketing Director for Courage to Change Addiction Recovery Ranches, in which she uses excerpts from two of the Ranch’s client histories to illustrate her point that “[n]ow we have a first generation prescribed drugs from early developmental years now in recovery as adults with addictions.”
Teach your children well-
Their father’s hell did slowly go by-
And feed them on your dreams-
The one they picked – the one you’ll know by. Crosby Stills Nash & Young 1971
Unfortunately, the dream that was picked is the one that afflicting the youth of today – as the first generation of children prescribed drugs at an early age is morphing into a generation of pharmaceutical drug addicts. I can remember sometime before my teen years, my father – a pharmaceutical packaging sales rep for a plant in New Jersey – would come home bearing stuffed animals and other gifts if my sister and I took “sample” drugs. It sounds absurd – but it is a memory and a question that still haunts me today. What did I take – and what were the side effects?
But that was then and this is now. And the now was prophesized in Aldous Huxley’s 1932 book, Brave New World with the introduction of Soma – a hallucinogen developed by the World State and mass marketed as a self-medicating comfort mechanism in the face of stress or discomfort, thereby eliminating the need for religion or other personal allegiances outside or beyond the World State ( Wikipedia ).
Courage to Change Addiction Recovery Ranch has seen more clients addicted to RX drugs as street drugs. Addictions to these pharmaceuticals are even more insidious – since it also involves a fear based mind-set of ‘what is wrong with me?’ Media messages re-enforce this….but there is another trend even more disturbing – blind social acceptance because the client’s parents bought in to the same erroneous belief.
Now we have a first generation prescribed drugs from early developmental years now in recovery as adults with addictions. Teach our children well….what have we taught them?
26 Y.O. Female Client
Age 14 – Zoloft SSRI – anti-depressant for suicidal tendencies
Age 16 – 24 recreational opiate, meth and alcohol use
Age 21 – Prozac – SRRI – anti-depressant
Age 24 – Wellbutrin (anti-depressant), Klonipin (anti-anxiety, Highly addictive), Ambien (sleep aid) All prescribed at the same time by the same MD. These are all Benzodiazepines highly addictiveinducing the same effect as alcohol.
Age 24 – Admitted to first addiction treatment program for alcohol abuse. Has been alcohol free ever since
Age 24 – Addictionologist at a county mental health clinic prescribed following Benzo meds without monitoring to alleviate divorce trauma
Suboxone – to get off opiates
Xanax – tranquilizer/anti-depressant
Pristiq – SSNI – antidepressant
Age 23 – 26- Prescribed Tramadol (narcotic pain reliever) & Neurontin (anticonvulsant deadens nerves & feelings) for chronic pelvic pain after sexual trauma.
Age 26 – Attacked and raped. Prescribed Klonopin, Xanax & Inderal (beta-blocker hypertension)
Experienced Benzo blackouts – similar to alcohol induced blackouts. Client felt numb so she would not have to feel pain – began to shoplift and did not think about getting caught – due to drug-induced behavior. Was arrested and spent two months in jail where she was given two small Dixie cups filled with drugs every night.
31 Y.O. Female Client
Age 4- Prescribed Midrin for migraines (Dichloralphenazone is a sedative that slows the central nervous system) – at times given enemas with meds because she could not eat or sleep
Age 9 – Amphetamine (stimulant and an appetite suppressant) as a mood stabilizer & ADHD
Age 11 – 12 Lithium for manic episodes of manic depression – hyperactivity, rushed speech, poor judgment and aggression
Age 13 – Alcohol & smoking meth
Age 15 – Paxil & Prozac (SSRI’s) – mood stability – client could not focus or concentrate
Age 18 – 19 Diagnosed Bipolar
Age 23 – Diagnosed with mild Schizophrenia – prescribed Clozapine & Risperdal – antipsychotic medication (had an allergic reaction and was hospitalized with a collapsed lung)
Homicidal – in and out of pysch wards 8 or 9 times – prescribed Wellbutrin and Zimbalta
Prescribed Geadon – made her crave drugs and alcohol; prescribed Buspar for cravings
Prescribed 900 mg. Seroquil (anti-psychotic)
At one point client was on – 1350 mg Lithium, 600 mg Seroquel (antipsychotic), 200 mg Lamictal (antipsychotic) and 200 mg Clozapine (antipsychotic) – at the same time
A 30-day stay at a treatment program helped in getting off Lithium – client weaned herself of all other meds at age 29. Experienced what client calls ‘brain stunners;” feeling like her eyes, head and body were in three different places at the same time making her balance difficult. Doctors told her she had a 1% chance of staying off of meth and would not be able to function without drugs since she was placed on amphetamines at such an early age. Today she talks at such a fast pace – one would think she is still on speed.
After 60 days at Courage to Change both clients feel like they are finally getting to know themselves for the first time. They are experiencing emotions and able to control them and “place them appropriately. They are drug free for the first time in their lives – feeling joy, and a sincere appreciation for life. One really must wonder how these prescribed medications contributed to the addictive behaviors they developed from such an early age.