March 17th, 2010
08:32 PM ET

Teen prescription drug abuse

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Earlier this month, The Partnership for a Drug-Free America released the 2009 Parents and Teens Attitude Tracking Study Report. The report reveals data on teen use and perception of prescription medications:

"According to the survey, teen abuse of prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter cough medicine (OTC) has remained stable with about 1 in 5 teens in grades nine through 12 (20 percent) or 3.2 million reporting abuse of a prescription medication at least once in their lives, and 1 in 7 teens (15 percent) or 2.4 million teens reporting abuse of a prescription pain reliever in the past year. About 8 percent or 1.3 million teens have reported OTC cough medicine abuse in the past year.

Unlike most illegal drugs, perceived availability, or how easy a teen believes it is to get prescription drugs, can be a risk factor in adolescent abuse of Rx medications.
PATS shows more than half or 56 percent of teens in grades nine through 12 believe Rx drugs are easier to get than illegal drugs.

Also, 62 percent believe most teens get Rx drugs from their own family’s medicine cabinets and 63 percent believe Rx drugs are easy to get from their parent’s medicine cabinet, up significantly from 56 percent just last year."

Read the full report from The Partnership for a Drug-Free America...

The death of Actor Corey Haim may be linked to harm from prescription pills. Tonight, we'll be digging deeper on the topic of teen prescription drug abuse. Tune in at 10pm ET.

Filed under: Medical News
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. sue r

    Watching my brother who started taking perscription drugs at a very young age was worse than going through chemotherapy. I was fighting to live a long and productive life and at the same time watching him waste away. Unfortunately he is not here to share my survivorship with me. I was at his home with him when he finally chose suicide then to fight his battle. Just thought I would share my story in hope that it may help just one person. ( I miss him every day )

    March 17, 2010 at 10:06 pm |
  2. alexis pierce

    i think that maybe the kids are thinkging they can get high off of that stuff and they wanted to try something slighlty different for what they did before. However the parents should be more protective over the children and none of this would'nt have happened, but kids are getting to much freedom. That's why 25% are dying fro drugs ,and the rest is drunk driving .

    March 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  3. Joseph Engle

    For the past twelve years we in Eastern Kentucky (Hazard,KY) have had a problem of epic proportions with prescription drugs. If this had been happening anywhere else the National Guard would have been activated. Welcome to our world America. There are no lights nor cameras here though, only grief. It's the normal anymore.

    March 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    Some kids won't touch drugs (prescription or otherwise) even when they might need a advil or something for a headache; others eat non-prescription drugs like they are candy. Fortunately, we live in a school district here in Alabama where the schools do a great job in educating our children about the dangers of drugs – legal or illegal. Unfortunately though the "choice drug" of our youth here seems to continue to be beer or other hard liquor – we still have our work cut out for us on that one.

    March 17, 2010 at 9:34 pm |