Statistics/Health Consequences


The abuse of Rx and OTC Drugs can: 

  • Increase blood pressure or heart rate

  • Damage the brain and other organs

  • Lead to accidental overdose/poisoning

  • Cause physical dependency/addiction

  • Disrupt breathing

  • Lead to risks associated with mixing drugs or combining alcohol

  • Cause seizures and even death


Prescription Drug Abuse


Common Teen Misperception

even if Rx drugs are not prescribed by a doctor, they are much safer to use than illegal drugs.

The Fact Is

Even when prescribed by a doctor, prescription drugs can be very dangerous and even deadly if it is not taken exactly as directed. You should never:

  • take more of a prescription drug than what is prescribed to you
  • take a prescription drug that is not prescribed to you
  • take a prescription drug for any reason other than what it is prescribed for
  • take a prescription drug that is expired

An average of 2 people in Cleveland County die every month from prescription drug overdoses (NC DPH Injury and Violence Prevention Branch).

there is nothing wrong with using Rx drugs without a doctor’s prescription.

The Fact Is

Aside from the fact that taking prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription can be dangerous and even deadly, it is also against the law and would result in a felony!


Source: Pride Survey, March 2015, grades 9 and 12

Rx pain relievers are not addicting.

The Fact Is

Prescription pain relievers especially when not taken as prescribed, can be as addictive as illegal drugs. In fact, opiate pain killers are derived from the poppy plant which is the same plant that heroin is derived from, and affects the brain in a very similar way. In 2012, an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription pain relievers.

Legal Consequences

When you share your prescription medications with others, you could be liable if that person is harmed.

Using medications like Vicodin, Adderall, or Xanax that aren’t prescribed for you is against federal and state laws. Punishments may include large fines and imprisonment.

Prevention Methods/ How to Say No/ Preventing Peer Pressure

How to Say No – Preventing Peer Pressure

You have to decide the best way to avoid making the wrong decision, but first you have to figure out what the situation is and what type of pressure you are facing. 

Recognize There Are Two Types Of Pressure:

1. Direct social pressure is when someone offers you a drink or an opportunity to drink.

2. Indirect social pressure is when you feel tempted to drink just by being around others who are drinking—even if no one offers you a drink.

Assess the Situation:

Take a moment to think about situation you are in.  In your mind, figure out what type of pressure you are facing and then make the right decision.  Avoid pressure when possible.

Your best strategy may be avoiding situations that pressure you all together.  Do not put yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable.   You know people and places to avoid where drinking is a problem.  Stay away from them to relieve any type of pressure you may feel.

Cope With Situations You Can’t Avoid:

•  “No means No!”  Then stand your ground
•  Don’t hesitate, as that will give you the chance to think of reasons to go along
•  Look directly at the person and make eye contact
•  Keep your response short, clear, and simple

Simple suggestions:

•  No, thank you
•  No, thanks, I don’t want to
•  You know, I’m (cutting back/not drinking) now (to get healthier/to take care of myself/because my doctor said to). I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me out.


Try Other Strategies

In addition to being prepared with your “no thanks,” consider these strategies:

• When those “friends” keep asking and you are feeling tempted, have a backup plan.
• You do not have to stay at a party.  Call your parents if drugs become too tempting and your friends will not leave you alone.
• Your friends should respect your decision, and you can simply ask others to refrain from pressuring you or drinking in your presence (this can be hard but they are your friends right?)

Remember, it’s your choice!

Always remember that you are in charge, that you know how you want your life to be, and that you have the power to make decisions for yourself.  Don’t let “friends” decide for you. 

Source: “http://rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/toolsresources/drinkrefusalskills.asp” 

This website was developed, in part, under grant number 1H79SP020340-01 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The views, opinions, and content of this publication are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of ONDCP, SAMHSA, or HHS, and should not be construed as such.Copyright 2015 Cleveland County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition | All Rights Reserved | The Awen Group