Prescription Drug Abuse By Teens On The Rise


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has sounded an alarm on teens abusing prescription drugs. Alcohol, tobacco and illegal drug use among teens has declined and is being replaced with abusing prescription drugs.

In fact, this age group is misusing prescription drugs more than any illegal substance except marijuana.

This under-recognized problem is putting young lives at risk.

Raiding the medicine cabinets of parents, grandparents, other relatives or neighbors for these drugs has allowed these substances to become today’s teens drug of choice. Misuse and abuse of these drugs is dangerous and can be fatal.

Teens are using prescription drugs to manage their lives and to reduce stress and anxiety. In fact, teens are admitting that dealing with school-related stress, including academic and athletic pressures is the No. 1 reason they are using prescription drugs.

Some startling statistics gathered by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and related to this subject show:

• 1 in 10 teens have abused prescription drugs in their lifetime

• 1 in 3 teens know someone who abuses prescription drugs

• 1 in 3 teens thinks there is “nothing wrong” with using “every once in a while”

• Every day 2,700 teens abuse prescription drugs for the first time

• 8 out of 10 teens who misuse or abuse prescription drugs get them from friends or relatives by buying, stealing or simply asking.

SAMHSA has developed a program to help those people who deal with teens on a regular basis to pass along the message of prevention.

Anyone wishing more information can log on to the following Web site: www.talkaboutrx .org.

What you can do to help

• Educate teens about prescription drug abuse.

• Help dispel current myths about prescription drug use.

• Help promote healthy alternatives.

• Inspire others to participate and take action against prescription drug abuse through community events or schools.

To access SAMHSA’s Web site:

Don’t use, abuse or be confused!

For questions or more information on the Gila County Meth Coalition contact chair Claudia DalMolin at the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, (928) 425-4440; co-chair Bianca DalMolin, (928) 701-1790; facilitator Misty Cisneros, (928) 425-1879; or media liaison Lu DuBois, (928) 425-4440.

The Meth Messenger — Presented by the Gila County Meth Coalition


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