Teen Drug Abuse

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Teen Prescription Drug Abuse
Chanel Smith
Axia College of University of Phoenix

According to USATODAY.com, in a 2005 survey by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, “19% of U.S. teenagers – roughly 4.5 million youths – reported having taken prescription painkillers to get high. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, the reason for this is because it is so accessible.” Because today’s teenagers can obtain prescription drugs easier than they can illicit drugs, more teenagers are experimenting with prescription drugs than ever before. In fact, studies show that prescription drugs are teens’ choice of drug to become high.

Most teenagers are abusing and/or trying prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Pharmaceuticals are more available than illegal drugs because they can be found right in the person’s home. Pills are less complex to take than smoking marijuana and/or drinking alcohol. “The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) states, there are four types of prescription medications that have been identified as being commonly abused: pain relievers, stimulants, sedatives, and tranquilizers.” Pain relievers are the most common medication abused by teenagers. Abusing stimulants is commonly used more by the older teens and college students. In a 2002 survey from the NSDUH, “studies show that females (4.3%) are more likely to abuse prescription medication than males (3.6%).” About 5% had used OxyContin. This table shows the “percentage of 12th-graders who said they had used certain drugs in the previous year (Monitoring the Future survey by the University of Michigan, 2005). |[pic] |

|  TEEN DRUG USE SHIFTS | | |
|[pic] |
| |
|Drug |
|2002 |
|2005 |
| |
|[pic] |
| |
|Marijuana |
|36.2% |
|33.6% |
| |
|[pic] |
| |
|Cocaine |
|5.0 |
|5.1 |
| |
|[pic] |
| |
|Ecstasy |
|7.4 |
|3.0 |
| |
|[pic] |
| |
|OxyContin |
|4.0 |
|5.5 |
| |
|[pic] |
| |
|Vicodin |
|9.6 |
|9.5 |
| |...
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