Prescription Painkiller Abuse on the Rise With Teens
According to a newly-released national study, today's teens are more likely to abuse a prescription painkiller or other prescription medication as a means of getting high than they are to experiment with illegal drugs.
The annual study on teen drug abuse found that more teens had abused a prescription painkiller--e.g., Vicodin and OxyContinthan cocaine, crack Ecstasy or LSD. One in 11 teens had abused over-the-counter products such as cough medicine.
The most popular prescription drug abused by teens is Vicodin, with 18 percent -- or about 4.3 million youths -- reporting they had used it to get high. OxyContin and drugs for attention-deficit disorder such as Ritalin/Adderall followed with one in 10 teens reporting they had tried them.
Fewer than half the teens surveyed said they saw "great risk" in experimenting with prescription medicines. "Ease of access" was cited as a major factor in trying the medications, with their parents medicine cabinets or medicine cabinets at friends' homes a predominate source.