Teen Drug Abuse Increasingly Focused on Prescription Drugs

Teen Drug Abuse Increasingly Focused on Prescription Drugs

While many a teen is familiar with a pharm party – one in which kids gather and share the drugs they find in their own medicine cabinets to try and experience a high – there are still others who have a true problem. According to a recent WebMD report, a new study finds many high school students are using prescription drugs without a prescription.

This study – the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control – found that just over one in five high school students in the United States admits to having taken a prescription drug without a prescription from a physician.

Within the survey, the CDC found that 20.2 percent of high school students report having taken a drug such as Ritalin, Xanax or OxyContin without a prescription. In addition, prescription abuse was most common among white students at 23 percent, followed by Hispanics at 17 percent and African-Americans at 12 percent.

Drug abuse proved to be the most common among high school seniors at 26 percent and least common among freshman at 15 percent. There appeared to be no difference in prescription drug abuse by gender as it was 20 percent for both male and female students.

“We are concerned to learn that so many high school students are taking prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them,” Howell Wechsler, EdD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, saidin a news release. “Some people may falsely believe that prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs, yet their misuse can cause serious adverse health effects, including addiction and death.”

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