When college students live away from home, parents worry about them binge drinking or smoking marijuana. However, drugs that are increasing in popularity and even passing up alcohol and pot are prescription drugs. The most popular of these include Vicodin, Xanax, Valium, and Adderall.

Between 1993 and 2005, a study showed that the number of college students using Vicodin went up 343 percent to about 240,000 students. The number of students using tranquilizers like Xanax and Valium went up 450 percent to 170,000 students, and the use of stimulants like Adderall went up 93 percent to 225,000 students. These drugs are especially prevalent in middle class students and are easy to get. Students have been known to buy them online, from their friends, or take them from their parents’ medicine cabinets.

Most sellers are those who are legitimately prescribed the drugs. One of the most sold drugs is Adderall which is usually given to people with ADHD. It has also been shown that one out of four teens who use Ritalin give or sell some to others. The safety in using these drugs is that people can purchase them easily from people they trust. Since they are prescription medications, they know what’s in them, making them seem safer than any other drug.

However, it is said that prescription drugs can be harder to kick than street drug addictions. However, addiction specialists are not as familiar with the addictive effects of prescription drugs. Also, some people don’t even ask what they are taking. They just take whatever’s being passed around. Research has also found that 23 percent of college students can be considered to abuse or dependant on drugs which is triple in proportion to the general population. College students are also most likely to drink more than college-aged kids who don’t further their education.

In order to help prevent the addiction and widespread use of prescription drugs, drug makers should formulate their products to make them harder to use. Anti-drug campaigns should also focus more on prescription drug abuse in order to warn students of the risk of taking these medications unprescribed.

For related articles visit http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/07/05/drug.use/index.html and http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17613969/.

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