The prescription drug epidemic spares no demographic. About 25 percent of teens say they have or are abusing prescription drugs.
According to a survey of 4,000 high school-aged kids, the teens that say they’ve used prescriptions for non-medical purposes are about 10 times more likely to bring a weapon to school.
The risk for following through with other risky behavior increases with kids who abuse prescription drugs. These teens are nearly 17 times more likely to take steroids (a statistic that shocked researchers), 11 times more likely to smoke weed and they are also at greater risk for indulging in binge drinking and cocaine.
Teens that abuse prescription drugs also tend to be more sexually active with about three or more partners in the last three months, which lends itself to a host of issues, including contracting sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.
Most Commonly Used Prescriptions Among Teens
The most commonly used prescriptions are opioids, including Vicodin and OxyContin. Xanax, Valium and Adderall are also popular with teens. Taking these drugs is especially dangerous for teens whose brains are still developing. They become lethal when taken with alcohol. Teens also wreck the “reward center” in their brains and after prolonged use, can no longer feel good without abusing prescription drugs.
Where Are Teens Getting Prescription Drugs?
Most teens acquire their drugs from friends and out of the family medicine closet. Many parents are unaware that the drugs are missing. About half of teens surveyed said it is fairly easy for them to get their hands on prescription drugs.
Another disturbing result of the recent survey of 4,000 teens is that around a third of the teens don’t have a negative association attached to prescription drug use.