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Youth & Prescription Drugs



"Changing attitudes toward substance abuse often precede changes in reported use.

  • Although use of Vicodin has declined, so too has teens’ perception of harm.
  • In 2013, perceived risk of harm in trying Vicodin declined in 8th graders, from 29.4 percent to 26.2 percent and 10th graders, from 40.3 percent to 36 percent in 2013. This could indicate that use could begin to rise in future years."

"Teens are obtaining medications from family members and friends: More than one-half of the nonmedical users of pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives aged 12 or older got the prescription drugs they most recently used “from a friend or relative for free.”

  • About 4 in 5 of these nonmedical users indicated that their friend or relative had obtained the drugs from one doctor."


Over the counter (OTC) medications are easily obtainable without prescription, at the local store, or even more conveniently in your home medicine cabinet. Nationwide statistics indicate kids as young as 12 are using OTC medications to relieve anxiety, stress, pain or to get high; using the internet as a "how to" guide to getting high. Most parents are worried about their children using OTC medications and so it is important to know the facts so you can share with your child about the dangerous potential in taking OTC medications, while as well knowing the facts about safe storage to lessen the risk of OTC medications being misused in your home.

For more information on prescription drug use, see these resources: