More teenagers are abusing prescription drugs

From the NY Daily News:

Junior’s been helping himself to Mother’s little helper.

That’s the conclusion of a report released Wednesday by White House drug czar John Walters that found while teenagers’ use of marijuana is declining, their abuse of prescription drugs is holding steady or in some cases increasing.

“The drug dealer is us,” said Walters, the national drug policy director, who released the report Wednesday at a news conference in New York. “We have to have a response that keeps that very important fact in mind.”

Teens who are being treated for prescription drug addiction agreed. “It’s available and you can get high off of it,” said Michael Robin, a 17-year-old who is being treated for addiction to drugs including Xanax and OxyContin at a Phoenix House facility on Long Island.

Teens are abusing pain relievers as well as stimulants like Adderall and anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax because they are readily available and perceived as safer than street drugs, Walters said. “Fifty-seven percent of them say they get them free from friends or they take them out of somebody’s medicine cabinet,” Walters said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

Many parents should consider putting a lock on their medicine cabinets.

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