Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Teen Access to Rx Drugs Easier than Beer

I came across a reference to a survey/study done by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University the other day. It is one of those “good news-bad news” bits of information.

While they have not seen an increase in drug use (that’s the good news), I found one set of findings particularly disturbing (although there was really nothing not disturbing in the findings):

For the first time in the CASA survey’s history, more teens said prescription drugs were easier to buy than beer (19 vs. 15 percent). The proportion of teens who say prescription drugs are easiest to buy jumped 46 percent since 2007 (13 vs. 19 percent). Almost half (46 percent) of teens say painkillers are the most commonly abused prescription drug among teens.

That first statement is incredible. Will this increased ease of acquiring prescription drugs to use and abuse lead to increased use in the near future? I think that it is very likely.

When teens who know prescription drug abusers were asked where those kids get their drugs:
• 31 percent said from friends or classmates;
• 34 percent said from home, parents or the medicine cabinet;
• 16 percent said other;
• Nine percent said from a drug dealer

The second listed source, in particular, should be relatively easy to control and we must get control or risk our children’s health and future.

It is easy to forget the illicit use of licit drugs in our haste to control illicit drug use, but our drug problem is a bigger problem.

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