With school back in session, it reminds us once again of the serious dangers of sharing medications. A study of students prescribed a medication, 35.8% diverted a medication at least once in their lifetime. Sharing prescriptions can quickly become a life and death situation.
We all share in the responsibility to educate parents, students and teachers. Currently the most commonly shared medication at colleges and universities across American are those prescribed to treat ADHD. Students known to have prescriptions for drugs to treat ADHD are often encouraged, sometimes bullied into sharing their meds to increase focus when the pressure of midterms or finals is on.
You may think it’s not a big deal for a student to share one pill when a fellow student has a big test coming up. What is really at risk? The first and most obvious issue is that sharing an Rx is illegal. In some states, it’s a felony charge resulting in fines and real prison time.
The potential for a person to have an adverse reaction, even to just one pill is tremendous and could land a person in an emergency room and in some cases has proven to be fatal. And if a student overdoses on a drug that your child provided, the parents can be sued in a civil suit and lose everything.
It is critical that we continue to educate people about the dangers of sharing medications. They need to know that it is illegal to solicit or receive prescription medications not prescribed to them. Even if the intention is to be helpful to a friend under stress or dealing with anxiety, the result could be the potential death of a classmate. It’s just never worth the risk. Ever.