It is possible that someone, especially a young person, might think that using a prescription medication without a doctor’s prescription is harmless. What harm can to offer a friend with a bad headache a prescription painkiller? The answer is, plenty. These types of medications are carefully prescribed by doctors to their North Dakota patients, and they may be harmful or even deadly to others. Also, some of these medications can become addictive and have serious side effects. It is illegal to distribute prescription drugs, which are classified as controlled substances, without authorization.

According to the North Dakota Department of Human Services, an increasing number of young people are abusing prescription medications across the state. At least 16 percent of high school teenagers in North Dakota admitted to having abused a prescription drug.

Some of the most common drugs that are abused happen to be the ones most often found in household medicine cabinets, according to Narconon Drug Rehab. These include heavy-duty painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, and antidepressants like Xanax and Valium. Prescription medications are usually easy to obtain, making them deceptively simple to mistake as harmless fun.

This is especially true if teenagers think that using prescription medication is a way to try a drug without the legal consequences of using an illegal street drug like marijuana or methamphetamines. They may not realize that prescription medication abuse carries the same penalties. These may include DUI, possession of an illegal substance and drug trafficking. Without realizing they were committing a crime by using a prescription drug, teenagers may end up with drug charges that can affect them for years.