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Friday, June 4, 2010

Prescription Drug Abuse With Teens

Prescription drug abuse is a major concern in America as more and more teens are experimenting with them. Prescriptions are of little importance when obtaining pharmaceuticals, there are so many floating around that kids have almost unlimited access to them. A new study has shown that there are more teens abusing prescription meds than one might think. The CDC states in its National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, just over one in five high school students in the U.S. admits that they have used prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription. According to the CDC, 20.2% of high school students said they had taken a drug such as Ritalin, Xanax, or OxyContin without prescriptions.

The survey of more than 16,000 youths found that:
  • Prescription drug abuse was most common among white students, at 23%
  • Hispanics at 17%
  • African-Americans at 12%.
  • Prescription drug abuse was most common among seniors (26%) and least common among freshmen (15%).
  • There was no difference in prescription drug abuse by sex -- 20% for both male and female students.

The survey asked a number of questions related to drug and alcohol use in its 2009 tally. Finding:

  • 72% of high school students said they had used alcohol.
  • 37% said they had used marijuana.
  • 6.4% said they had used cocaine.
  • 4.1% said they had used methamphetamine.
  • 6.7% said they had used ecstasy.
  • 2.5% had used heroin.
  • 8% had used hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD or mescaline.
The numbers above are not uplifting and need to be addressed sooner rather than later. We are faced with an epidemic of epic proportions and there isn't really a solution in sight. More counseling and education are needed to give teens the tools to resist experimenting with prescription drug. Parents need to talk to their kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol before a problem develops. What are your thoughts on the subject?

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