Recently the New York Times reported on the national trend of heroin addiction impacting youth in our communities. The concern is that easy access to prescription opiates at home fosters addiction and makes it difficult to stay in recovery.
And with mobile phone connectivity, it is easy for kids to abuse prescription medication in plain sight. They can simply “google” what they think they need to know, and then seek prescription pills in their cyber-powered communities trading other people’s pills; there is a perception that using other people’s medication is safe.
Debbie Simpson of Lincoln will tell you that she is a mom reformed. Her youngest son, at 16 years of age, became addicted to prescription opiates which he accessed in her home. She had been in a horrible auto accident requiring numerous painful surgeries, and during this time her son had a knee surgery and got hooked on the pain medication.
“Looking back I have to admit I was in denial,” she said. “I just didn’t want to accept that my son could have this problem.”
Today Simpson’s son is in recovery helping other people break the addiction cycle. But she will tell you that the time he was hooked on getting high turned the family upside down.
“Our family learned some very difficult lessons about locking up prescription medication,” she said, “And we also learned that helping youth with their issues and problems is strategic for prevention and treatment of drug abuse and addiction.”
Simpson and her family have launched two major efforts to combat teen prescription pill abuse and addiction. The first effort is called, The Locking Cap, which is the manufacture and sale of a prescription bottle with a combination lock on top invented by her older son Joseph. “First thing we need to do, and we can do right away to save lives is secure the medication,” Simpson said. “Sales from this product fund our non-profit to encourage, inspire and support teens to be entrepreneurial and solve real world problems.”
This second effort is the launch of a non-profit called Educating Young Entrepreneurs in America (EYEinAmerica), dedicated to training youth about entrepreneurialism and launch the business ideas youth to solve problems and enhance quality of life. “EYEinAmerica offers training and then funding for business plans produced by students who go through the training associated with our organization,” Simpson said. “Parents don’t realize that the good kids are abusing drugs because they are perceived as safe and legitimate because doctors prescribe them. And we need to get rid of fear in America which causes so much anxiety leading to medication abuse in the first place. A good way to do this is to tap the creative energy of our youth.”
- Banana Moments: Help for parenting in the social network
- Teaching tweens and teens responsible use of texting and social media
- EYE In America
- The Locking Cap
- Cyber Safety for Kids and Families with Joanna and Jodie on 103.9FM The Fish
- CyberParenting Topics on The Fish 103.9FM
- Follow Joanna @CyberParenting
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