Prescription drug abuse occurs whenever someone takes medication, whether over-the-counter or doctor-prescribed, in an inappropriate way or in order to feel better about their surroundings or experience a “high” sensation. Teens face a lot of stressors in their lives as they transition into adulthood, and lesbian teens may experience overwhelming emotions while they deal with the physical, sexual and social aspects of being gay. As such, lesbian teens and drug abuse can occur as they turn to prescription medication in order get a buzz and keep the focus on feeling good in the moment instead of dealing with the stress they may feel in their lives.
Prescription drug abuse is dangerous. A teen may believe that it is okay to use medication to help them study better, lose weight or treat their pain without consulting a parent or doctor. They may even believe that because they are taking over-the-counter medication that it will not harm them in the same way that doctor-prescribed pills will. It is possible to become addicted to any medication, and overconsumption of any pill can cause harmful and long-lasting effects.
It is important to seek help if you suspect that a loved one may be addicted to drugs. Encourage them to talk to a parent, school counselor, spiritual advisor or another trusted adult. There are also helpful, anonymous hotlines that a teen can call to receive guidance.
Lesbian teens and drug abuse are not always connected; however, it is important to lend an open ear and allow a gay teen to discuss their feelings so that they have a healthy support system and will be less likely to turn to dangerous methods of feeling better about themselves.