“My son had shoulder surgery in his sophomore year of high school,” Cindy Munger said. “And that’s when I gave him his first Oxycontin.”
“I remember his face. He just got this look and frankly it reminded me of the 1960’s when people were taking things you would never be prescribed,” Munger said. “You would never be prescribed something that would give you the face that I saw on my son.”
When Munger gave her son that pill, she had no idea that four years later, she would be pulling her son out of college for an addiction that he had lost control over.
“He had great SAT’s, early acceptance and a baseball scholarship,” Munger said. “However he was missing all of his classes because he was taking as many pills as he could for the sole purpose of being able to pretend he had no pain.”
Once he was pulled out of school, that same loss of control continued and Munger’s son quickly went from popping pills to shooting up heroin.
Now 25 and in recovery, her son’s story is actually no different than thousands of high school aged students across the country.
A study done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that in 2016 12% of twelfth graders had abused some form of prescription drug. This abuse is even more popular among athletes who suffer an injury.
When an opioid is prescribed after a surgery, many times the former patient can be found popping as many pills as they can for pain that is no longer there.
And what’s the biggest problem for someone with a painkiller addiction? It is expensive. So they go looking for something cheaper and stronger. And for just ten dollars, they find exactly that.
In addition to the abuse, prescription drug use in the last decade or so has created an entirely new population of young heroin users.