A wide range of studies has indicated that nonmedical utilization of prescription medicines is a severe public health problem in the country. According to Roy, Nolin, Traoré, Leclerc & Vasiliadis, (2015), there is a significant rise I the misuse of prescribed stimulants, psychoactive, and opioids in Canada and the United States in the recent past. The study also highlighted that the high accessibility and utilization of prescription drugs have generated a proper environment for non-medical application of prescription medication. Similarly, the findings of the study indicated that there are health and social impacts linked with prescription medications (Roy, Nolin, Traoré, Leclerc & Vasiliadis, 2015). For instance, although these medications have a beneficial effect, they are probably misused due to their psychoactive properties and related risks for physical and psychological dependence. Excluding alcohol and tobacco, prescribed drugs are the more widespread rather drug utilized in Canada and the United States after marijuana. Based on Cranford, McCabe & Boyd, (2013) study findings, the nonmedical utilization of a variety of medicine is the second most prevalent type of illegal medication use in the US. It also creates substantial risks such as addiction development, overdose, and accidental injury. Approximately 6.8 million adolescents over 12 years in the United States utilize over-the-counter drugs non-medically. Moreover, it noted that nearly 4.8 million, 2.1 million, and 1.2 million persons utilized analgesics, tranquilizers, and stimulants respectively for non-medical reasons in the past period.
Mateu-Gelabert, Guarino, Jessell & Teper, (2015) argued that the practice of non-medical utilization of prescribed drugs (NMUPM) is more common among the young adults and adolescents as compared to older persons. The study extracted information from the Youth Smoking Survey 2010-2011. In this regard, it indicated that 8.2 percent of Canadian adolescents in grades 6-12 were obtaining the over-the-counter and prescriptions drugs for leisure reasons in the past year. The findings of the study indicated that adolescents believe over-the-counter prescription can be safely used and they are quick to obtain relative to street medications. The researcher also projected those medication-associated appointments to emergency rooms concerning abuse or misuse of these medicines rose by over 15 percent annually. In fact, teenagers aged 12-17 years accounted for 6.5 percent of emergency visits (Mateu-Gelabert, Guarino, Jessell & Teper, 2015).
Another study by McCabe, West & Boyd, (2013) highlighted that it is essential to reduce or prevent the psychoactive use of drugs among the adolescents. In the course of this age group, the brain is characterized by broad and rapid development. It is more susceptible to impacts of drug and alcohol utilization that can cause behavioral and neurological changes linked with advanced risk of numerous drugs. Furthermore, misuse of over-the-counter or prescription drugs contributes to other negative impacts in the body such as heart arrhythmia, respiratory depression, fatal overdoes, psychiatric conditions, physical injuries, infection with hepatitis C virus, and exposure to HIV infection (McCabe, West & Boyd, 2013).
In fact, empirical evidence point out that the emergence of Internet especially in making purchases is associated in increased utilization of the prescription drugs among the youths in the country (Cranford, McCabe & Boyd, 2013). In this regard, they can purchase the prescription drugs using the e-commerce platforms. Since the introduction of e-commerce systems where youth could buy the prescription medication, the rate of sales has increased (Mackey, Liang & Strathdee, 2013). Furthermore, a proliferation of illegal online pharmacies offers easier purchase for prescription drugs among adolescents. Although internet pharmacies that provide authentic and legally acquired drugs to persons with genuine prescriptions from doctors can increase the convenience for consumers to acquire their medication, they became sources of harms linked with medications delivered from other pharmacies working outside legitimate businesses (Mackey, Liang & Strathdee, 2013).
Trends the adolescent use of drugs
Recent pieces of literature have noted that countries such as the United States have recorded downward trajectories in terms of the use of prescription misuse among the adolescents. For instance, reports have indicated that from 2011 to 2013, the rate of abuse of prescription drugs among the high school learners had reduced from 20.9 percent to 17.8 percent. Similarly, illicit drug abuse such as cigarette and alcohol had also reduced. Since a variety of aspects can determine whether teenagers abuse prescription medication, it is essential to introduce intervention and prevention programs to manage this challenge at different levels (Wieczorkiewicz, Kassamali &