By all appearances, Jessica is a normal, healthy twelve year-old girl. She enjoys hanging out with her friends, plays soccer after school, and has started to pay attention to boys. She is well-behaved and nobody would think that she is at risk of abusing prescription drugs. One afternoon, she overhears her parents talking about how her aunt’s medication is causing her to rapidly lose weight. She recalls how some of her friends are much thinner and more popular. The next time she visits her aunt’s house, Jessica steals a few pills and starts the vicious cycle of drug addiction. Afraid that her parents or aunt find out about the medication, she performs an online search for “cheap online pharmacy” and easily places an order for several hundred pills that are delivered right to her doorstep.
This case is not unbelievable with the advent of rogue online pharmacies that ignore safe practices for distributing prescription drugs. Not all adolescents use drugs for the purpose of “getting high”; many common causes include dealing with stress or anxiety, pain relief, weight loss, increased concentration, and boredom. These teenage drug abusers can be hidden from plain sight, which is why education of the dangers of drug abuse is an important topic for all parents to discuss with their children.
Understanding Online Pharmacies
Legitimate online pharmacies are similar to local pharmacies in their due diligence, as they check for valid prescriptions, require a medical history, and distribute safe prescription drugs. Certification in using third-party organizations to verify their dedication to safety, such as the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA), are ways to ensure that the online pharmacy is safe and legitimate.
Some online pharmacies are illegal operations that adolescents can stumble upon through an online search. Illegal prescription drugs can be only an online form and credit card away. These illegitimate sources not only circumvent the law by ignoring safe practice, but participate in distributing harmful drugs. Their drugs often contain incorrect dosages, which is a danger in itself, but also have been known to contain toxic substances such as rat poison, glue, or chalk. Never order prescription drugs from an online pharmacy that does not require prescriptions.
How Can You Protect Your Children?
Open communication is the basis of understanding a child’s thoughts and actions. If Jessica’s parents were aware about her concern with her physical appearance and weight, there are a number of solutions that could have prevented drug abuse. Education about drugs and drug abuse is also an important first step in preventing drug addiction.
Learning about online pharmacies, both the legitimate and illegitimate businesses, can help understand the source of illegal prescription drugs. Safe online pharmacies help provide many Americans with affordable medication and are a rising staple in the pharmaceutical industry. Rogue online pharmacies are uncertified, dangerous sources of medication for all ages.