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How and Where Are Young Adults Getting Drugs?

Most high schoolers and college-aged kids understand drugs are easier to obtain than ever. But parents may not know how they are getting access to these substances. Here’s an eye-opening look at where your son could be finding drugs.

1. At Home

For many young adults, the easiest way to get their hands on drugs is inside their home medicine cabinet. Perhaps your spouse has leftover opioids from a recent surgery, or your doctor has prescribed you Xanax for an anxiety disorder. Many young adults go through a period where their natural curiosity makes them want to experiment with drugs, and kids may see prescription medications as a “safe” way to do so because they came from a medical professional. However, the unfortunate reality is that these drugs are highly addictive, even when people take them under a doctor’s orders. Mixing prescription medications is also dangerous and can lead to an accidental overdose. For safety’s sake, keep all medications in a locked place, and take regular inventories of any prescription drugs you keep in your home. Make sure you know how many doses and refills are left, and take precautions to safely dispose of any unused or expired medications.

2. Online

The internet and social media platforms have brought about entirely new ways for people to connect with each other, but that isn’t always for the best. Modern technology has made it much easier for young adults to find drug dealers online. For example, until a fairly recent crackdown, all it took was a straightforward Facebook search for terms like “Xanax” and “Fentanyl” to find people who were willing to sell dangerous prescriptions online. Though Facebook has since reportedly changed its search algorithm to make it more challenging for potential buyers to connect with dealers, it’s still possible to find online pharmacies, including those in foreign countries that have fewer restrictions on what kinds of drugs people can get. With the right search terms and a few mouse clicks, young adults can get potent pharmaceuticals delivered to their door. With so many avenues available to buy drugs online, you should keep a close eye on your son’s internet behavior, including social media use.

3. At School

In an ideal world, you would never have to worry about your child being able to get drugs at school. However, one nationwide study revealed that 22 percent of high school and even middle school students had been offered an illegal drug on campus. And the problem doesn’t end there. A combined five years of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed some alarming statistics about substance use among college students, including that on an average day, 1,326 full-time college students used an illicit drug for the first time. Meanwhile, 559 students used prescription pain relievers for non-medical purposes. Talk to your high school or college-aged son and ensure he understands the risks of trying various drugs and buying them illegally. You don’t want him to gamble with his future. Reinforce the point that he can always talk to you without fear of judgment.

Helping Your Young Adult Avoid the Cycle of Abuse

If you suspect your son has a substance use issue or a full-fledged addiction, don’t wait to get help. Rehab facilities for young adults offer programs that cater to the unique recovery needs of younger individuals. Spearhead Lodge can help if it seems like all hope is lost. Call or email us today to learn more about admitting your son to a qualified treatment facility.