HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - Prescription drug abuse is a problem in Region 8, but it may also be a problem for a much younger age group.
"Prescription drugs are really starting to turn into the new forms of cocaine and marijuana," said high school senior Nik Ryan.
Hoxie High School Seniors Nik Ryan and Jennifer Henderson say they know of people who have used prescription drugs.
"They're so easy to get and apparently they can produce the same affects as illegal drugs," said Ryan.
These drugs can be very harmful and sometimes parents never know.
"Parents are used to hearing about the illicit drugs and the hard drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin but they don't realize that kids use cough medicine," said Jennifer Henderson.
"I've had some parents tell me, 'Well at least my kid all he does is drink. He doesn't do drugs', and I think that parent is just ill informed," said high school counselor Donna Pinkston.
Pinkston said she believes some drug use stems from kids having bad self esteem.
"I hear there are students that feel that is something that would make them feel better. Maybe they're self medicating," said Pinkston.
Doing that could lead to harder drugs!
"A lot of kids, that's their first high, getting prescription drugs. They can say, 'this doesn't work anymore I need something stronger'," said Henderson.
Pinkston said she wants parents to understand what their children could be involved in.
"We have so many students who are good role models but it seems to be the one's who are living on the edge that get the attention of our younger kids," said Pinkston.
"I have friends who are in younger grades. I worry if some other student in my grade would give them something and they wouldn't really consider what it would do to them," said Ryan.
Counselor Donna Pinkston said if you do have drugs in your medicine cabinet that you no longer need or use get rid of them. Pharmacists recommend that you empty your prescriptions out of the bottles into the trash into coffee grounds or something like that to keep people from getting them out.