Debra Kelley EN116
Topic: Teenagers and Medicine Cabinet
Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the menacing effects of prescription drug abuse
Central Idea: How it often becomes easy for teenagers get high by simply accessing to the family
medicine cabinet or a nearby medicine shop.
Thesis: The United States is gradually becoming the primary abode of teens who indulge in drug
abuse and most of them have easy access to prescription drugs more frequently.
Introduction: Gradually in a steady manner, the number of teens abusing prescription drugs is
increasing in every home and state. “When was the last time you parents have ever counted your
pills that are prescribed to you, from your doctor?” With more than 2,000 teens beginning
abusing prescription drugs each day (“Facts & Figures”, n.d.), the United States is gradually
becoming the primary abode of teens who indulge in drug abuse and most of them have easy
access to prescription drugs that are being supplied by their own parents. I ask you again, when
was the last time you counted you prescription?
Main Point1: The rate of prescription drug abuse on the part of the teens is increasing gradually
and such increasing rate is alarming. In a detrimental manner prescription drugs such as “Xanax,
Ritalin, Vicodin, OxyContin and Valium are quickly finding their way into schools, being
swallowed, chewed, snorted and injected by teens looking to get high” (Reece, n.d.) They do not
even have to buy them. They are right there for the taking in the medicine cabinet.
Sub-point A: A nationally projectable survey conducted by “The Partnership at Drugfree.org”
and MetLife Foundation this year traced that “one in four teens has misused or abused a
prescription (Rx) drug at least once in their lifetime – a 33 percent increase over the past five
years (Goldberg, 2013). In every 3 teenagers, 1 will have died from an overdose of prescription
drugs that was their parents. (Goldberg, 2013) Parents, that 1 teenager could be yours next.
Sub-sub-point i: The rate of prescription drug abuse on the part of the U.S. teens is increasing
disastrously and now it has been found that about 13 percent of the teens in the U.S. have taken
stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall although such were not prescribed for them for any reason
Sub-sub-point ii: It is shocking to learn that “One in eight teens (about 2.7 million) now reports
having misused or abused the Rx stimulants Ritalin or Adderall at least once in their lifetime
(Goldberg, 2013). And to add to this shock, it has been reported that in the past year about 9
percent of teens have either misused or abused the concerned Rx stimulants.
Sub-sub-point iii: Adding more to this problem is some parents’ misconception that “Ritalin or
Adderall can enchance a child’s school performance even if the child is not diagnosed with
attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.” (ADHD) (Mozes, 2013).
Transition: Now that I have discussed about the increase in the rate of prescription drug abuse on
the part of the U.S. teens let’s move on to the reason behind the easy access to prescription drugs
which is instigating such rise in the degree of teen drug abusers.
Main Point2: The apathy of parents in preventing their children from misusing prescription drugs
at the very onset is instigating the increase in the rate of prescription drug abuse on the part of
the teenagers. Parents, have you ever looked in your prescription bottle and think to yourself,
“Gosh I thought I had more in there?”
Sub-point A: Strangely enough “Some parents didn’t see a significant risk in teens misusing
prescription drugs” (“Study finds many parents underestimate dangers of teens abusing
prescription drugs”, 2013). Some parents think it is okay to give their teenager, their prescription
for a sore muscle. They think “ 1 pill isn’t going to hurt.” That prescription has your name on it,
not your child’s.
Sub-sub-point i: It is noteworthy that “Parent permissiveness and lax attitudes toward abuse and
misuse of Rx medicines, coupled with teens’ ease of access to prescription medicines in the
home, are key factors linked to teen medicine misuse and abuse” (Goldberg, 2013). Most of the
parents whose children are indulging in prescription drug abuse had the misconception that
prescription drug abuse is a safer way for their children to get high and that such drugs are much
safer than street drugs because being parents they had the opportunity to control the intake of
such drugs on the part of their children (Mozes, 2013).
Sub-sub-point ii: It can be shocking to learn that “Almost one-third of parents (29 percent) say
they believe ADHD medication can improve a child’s academic or testing performance, even if
the teen does not have ADHD” (Goldberg, 2013). And such wrong conceptions on the part of the
parents are making it easier for teenagers to gain access to prescription drugs and abuse them at
their own will.
Sub-sub-point iii: The apathy on the part of the parents in addressing the issue of drug abuse by
discussing its consequences thoroughly with their children is again contributing to the rise in the
number of teenage drug abusers in the country. And surveys have found that about 81 percent
teens had admitted about talking about the risks of marijuana with their parents and almost “the
same number said they have discussed alcohol with their parents” ( “Study finds many parents
underestimate dangers of teens abusing prescription drugs”, 2013 ). If the parents would have
warned them specifically about the detrimental effects of such abuses while discussing with their
children then the number of teenage drug abusers would not have climbed.
Conclusion: the medicine cabinet is gradually becoming the primary abode of teens who indulge
in drug abuse and most of them have easy access to prescription drugs right in their own home. It
is not only the inclination of the teens towards getting high that is instigating the rise in the
number of teenage drug abusers but it is also the apathy on the part of the parents to make their
children aware of the disastrous consequences of drug abuse which is directly contributing to the
rise in the degree of prescription drug abuse. I will ask you one last time. When was the last time
you counted your prescription pills?
Study finds many parents underestimate dangers of teens abusing prescription drugs (2013).
Retrieved September 21, 2013, from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/04/23/studyfinds-many-parents-underestimate-dangers-teens-abusing-prescriptiondrugs/#ixzz2f6l4lcQL
Reece, T. (n.d.). Teen Drug Abuse From the Medicine Cabinet. Retrieved September 21, 2013,
Goldberg, C. (2013). National Study: Teen Misuse and Abuse of Prescription Drugs Up 33
Percent Since 2008, Stimulants Contributing to Sustained Rx Epidemic. Retrieved
September 21, 2013, from http://www.drugfree.org/newsroom/pats-2012
Facts & Figures (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2013, from
Mozes, A. (2013). Prescription Drug Abuse Up Among U.S. Teens: Survey. Retrieved September
21, 2013, from http://health.usnews.com/healthnews/news/articles/2013/04/23/prescription-drug-abuse-up-among-us-teens-survey