Prescription and Over-The-Counter Medication

More teens abuse prescription drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana, more than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined

There are as many new abusers 12 years of age and older of prescription drug abusers as there are for marijuana

In 2006, more than 2.1 million teens abused prescription drugs

1/3 of all new abusers of prescription drugs were 12 to 17 year olds and prescription drugs are the drug of choice among 12 to 13 year olds

The majority of teens (56%) agree that prescription drugs are easier than illicit drugs to get and 70% of teens that have abused pain relievers say they got them from friends or relatives

More than 3 in 5 teens say prescription pain relievers are easy to get from parents’ medicine cabinets and half of all teens say they are easy to get through other people’s medicine cabinets

Teens are abusing prescription drugs because many believe that these drugs provide a “safe” high and 21% of teens believe that parents “don’t care as much if you get caught” abusing prescription drugs

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of poisonings and even deaths associated with the abuse of prescription and OTC drugs

Treatment admission of teens for abuse of prescription pain relievers has grown more than 300%

Many parents are not aware of teen prescription drug abuse and the fact that they are in a unique position to immediately reduce teen access to prescription drugs

Parents are a third less likely to discuss the risks of prescription and OTC drug abuse than they are to discuss the risks of street drugs like heroin or cocaine, even though teens are far less likely to use these substances

Research shows youth (12-17) whose parents express strong disapproval of drug use are far less likely to engage in substance use.

Most school policies do not specifically address the problem of prescription and OTC drug abuse