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Internet Pharmacy Dangers: Is your teen buying medications online?

A shocking fact was revealed during a recent survey on buying prescription medications over the internet – sixth-graders are ordering drugs illegally and their parents don’t have a clue as to what their kids are doing.

The shocking fact was revealed in an annual report of internet access to controlled medicines, titled ‘You’ve got drugs’. The study, which was conducted by Columbia University’s center for Addiction and Substance Abuse, revealed that children and teens are logging into online pharmacies and buying drugs illegally. This is terrible news to parents as they have no idea as to why and what motivates their kids to engage in such illegitimate activity.

Dangers of self-medication: Internet pharmacies have, for sure, changed the way we deal with medications. But they have also triggered us to act in ways that are condemned by state and federal regulatory bodies. Not just kids, even adults use online pharmacies to buy stuff they would not dare to request at a local pharmacy store. With health care costs scaling sky high, people find it easy to buy prescription drugs without doctor consultations and think they can save money that way. This is wrong as drugs taken without medical supervision can have harmful effects in our health conditions. Even ED drugs like Viagra or Cialis can be dangerous if consumed by a healthy human being. This is why FDA insists online pharmacies to sell drugs only with prescriptions.

Illegitimate Online Pharmacies: Not all pharmacies are illegal or fake. Only some are. But it is these ‘some’ which is like a canker to the whole online pharmacy industry. The study revealed that about 85% of the websites offering medications over the internet do not require prescription from the customers. This is illegal and yet many pharmacies do it. It was also found out that there are some online-only consultations that physicians prescribe online and customers buy at their local stores. These consultations mostly involve the customer or patient filling out a simple questionnaire. This type of illegal activity has been condemned and abhorred by the FDA and NABP, still the legislation does not have the teeth to curb such activities completely as the internet is a complex medium to operate with. Children, teens, seniors and others make use of these illegal pharmacies to buy drugs without prescriptions. According to the study, an internet-savvy 16-year-old who started ordering illegally from the age of 11 has said, “I doubt laws will work because if there is a will, there is still most definitely a way. You find ways and means to get whatever you want.”

Is your teen doing it? What would you do if your teen or an elder in the family is ordering drugs without proper online consultations or prescriptions? Here are some ways to get them out of the bad habit:

1. Talk to them in private: Explain to the kid or the adult that what they are doing is illegal and they can be questioned by authorities if they continue to order prescriptions without your knowledge.

2. Move the computer to a public area in your home: If the first option is not working, shift the computer to your living area. You can monitor what is done online through this act.

3. Spy: Yes, spy your kid, teen, adult, spouse or elder if you suspect them ordering prescription drugs illegally. If you find out that your husband is taking ED drugs for recreational sake, ask him to stop the habit. It can be dangerous to his health.

4. Block sites: This is the final method. You can try various parental blocking software to prevent your kids or teens from visiting such illegal online pharmacies. If its an elder or a spouse, get your family doctor to talk to them about the perils of ordering drugs without medical supervision.

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Internet Pharmacy Dangers: Is your teen buying medications online?

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