The most popular illegal drug among teens is still marijuana. But underage drinking is down, while prescription drug abuse is at the same level as previously. OxyContin, Vicodin, and over-counter (OTC) cold medicines are today’s drugs of choice for teenagers that abuse drugs in America.

A study sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse recently demonstrated that 21% of American eighth-graders, 36% of sophomores, and 48%t of high school seniors admitted abusing at least one illegal drug, all figures slightly down from previous years. This includes illegal drugs such as meth and cocaine. Under-aged smoking and drinking were also shown to be reduced from the previous year’s percentages. However, legal drug misuse seems on the rise.

One of the highest rates of abuse shown in the study came from the painkiller Vicodin, used by 3% of eighth-graders, 7% of 10th-graders, and 9.7%t of seniors. OxyContin abuse is at its highest among students ages 13 to 16. The abuse of OTC’s called DXM, Dex, and Skittles by USA teenagers were abused by 4% of eighth-graders, 5% of 10th-graders and 7% of seniors.

Using large amounts of cough medicines or painkillers can produce an opiate effect and can lead to brain death. Overall, scientists seem to be most concerned with the abuse of drugs and alcohol among 8th graders.

Links:

http://www.playfuls.com/news_10_5986-More-US-Kids-Abuse-Cough-Syrups-Painkillers.html
http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/12/21/drug.survey/

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