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Drug abuse

One in five Teens Has Abused Prescription Drugs

Tuesday, August 04, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: drug abuse, health news, Natural News


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(NaturalNews) Up to one out of every five teenagers -- or 20 percent -- has abused prescription or over-the-counter drugs, according to research conducted by the organization Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

The organization says that one in 10 teens have abused these drugs within the past year, with another 1 in 10 having done so earlier in life.

Among the more commonly abused drugs are narcotic painkillers, including OxyContin and Vicodin, stimulants prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder, such as Adderral and Ritalin, and anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax. Approximately 7 percent of teenagers say they have attempted to get high using over-the-counter cough medicines containing the hallucinogenic decongestant dextromethorphan in the past year.

Concerned over the growing popularity of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse, the government of Orange County, California, commissioned two nonprofit agencies to write a report on the prevalence of this problem among the county's young people.

Preliminary analysis of data collected by Project Path found that more Orange County youths between the ages of 12 and 25 died from overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs between 2005 and 2007 than died from abuse of street drugs -- 42 from the former, as opposed to 38 from the latter.

Street drugs are illegal drugs that cannot be acquired from pharmacies, such as cocaine, heroine or methamphetamines.

Project Path's data also revealed that 25 percent of all 11th graders in the Anaheim Union School District have abused over-the-counter cold and cough drugs, while 28 percent have abused painkillers.

Health officials say that people may be more likely to fatally overdose on prescription and over-the-counter drugs because they falsely presume them to be safer than street drugs.

According to a recent study by researchers from the University of California-San Diego, the number of home deaths caused by prescription and over-the-counter drugs has increased 700 percent in the last 20 years.

Sources for this story include: www.ocregister.com.

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