Teens Leave Street Drugs, Move to Prescription Drugs

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Teen drug abuse

Director of National Drug Control Policy John P. Walters today released a new White House analysis that shows alarming trends in teen abuse of prescription drugs and cough and cold medicines to get high. The report shows that teens are turning away from street drugs, like marijuana and cocaine, and are now abusing prescription drugs to get high.

New users of prescription drugs have now caught up with new users of marijuana. Prescription drugs are now the second most commonly used illegal drug by teens to get high, behind marijuana. The report, "Teens and Prescription Drugs: An Analysis of Recent Trends on the Emerging Drug Threat," released today by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), also shows that the majority of teens, who use these products, are getting them easily and for free.

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"Parents need to know that teens are turning away from street drugs and increasingly abusing prescription drugs to get high. They should also be aware that suppliers of these drugs might not be sinister characters on the street corner, but are more likely close friends or relatives," said Director Walters. "Too many young people see popping pills as a painless high."

Although illicit drug use among teens has dropped by 23 percent over the last five years, ONDCP and other experts warned parents at a press conference this morning in New York City that teens are intentionally abusing prescription drugs to get high, wrongly believing that they are safer than street drugs. In addition, teens are getting prescription drugs for free and have easy access to them - taking them from friends or relatives without their knowledge.

Teen Drug Trends:

  • New abusers of prescription drugs have caught up with new users of
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