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Teen Drug Use Facts: Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics

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Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics
Prescription Drug Abuse Statistics
drugabuse.gov

Quick Links: Teen Drug Abuse Statistics | Teen Drug Use | Screening Quiz: Is my teen using drugs? | Prescription Drug Abuse in Teens

Because prescription drugs are prescribed by doctors, teens assume that they are safe to take under any circumstances. They think they can't hurt you and suppose that mixing them couldn't kill you. We know that is not the case. Here are some of the interesting statistics of teen prescription drug abuse from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH):
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the commonly abused illicit drugs by high school seniors.
  • One in twelve 12th graders reported prescription abuse of Vicodin and one in twenty reported abuse of OxyContin.
  • When asked how prescription narcotics were obtained for nonmedical use, 70% of 12th graders said they were given to them by a friend or relative - in other words taking them from their parents' medicine cabinets. The number obtaining them over the internet was negligible.

It is estimated that 6,600 Americans abuse prescription drugs for the first time every day. About one third of these are teens ages 12 to 17 and more than half were women. It is believe by experts that teens are of particular risk for abusing prescription drugs because they do not understand the full scope of complications of the drugs. They feel safer because the drugs have been prescribed by doctors, even though they were not prescribed for them. The current numbers for prescription drug use measuring use in the last 30 days are:

  • 5.9 percent for young adults ages 18 to 25,
  • and 3.0 for teens ages 12 to 17.

Quick Links: Teen Drug Abuse Statistics | Teen Drug Use | Screening Quiz: Is my teen using drugs? | Prescription Drug Abuse in Teens

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