Prescription painkillers, antidepressants and stimulants are easier for teens to get their hands on than beer, according to an annual back-to-school survey released yesterday by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.
The researchers surveyed 1,002 teens, ages 12-17, and found a 46 percent increase from last year in the number of kids who say prescription drugs (that are not prescribed to them) are the easiest illicit substance to access.
One-third of the kids surveyed who know a teenage prescription drug abuser said the teen got their drugs from home. The study’s authors call those parents “passive pushers.”
Are parents aware of this phenomenon? I wonder how much of this trend relates to the amount of psychotropic drugs being prescribed these days. Are more people locking up their prescription drugs or stashing them somewhere less obvious than the medicine cabinet? You’d think they’d notice that their pill bottles were depleted.
image from xtheowl’s site on flickr.com/creativecommons