Even though their use of illicit drugs and alcohol appears to have levelled off, California students are increasingly abusing prescription pills such as painkillers, according to a study released this week.
In many cases, pills are stolen from parents' medicine cabinets or obtained at parties, the Associated Press reported.
The state survey of 10 638 students at 113 middle and high schools was conducted between September 2005 and February 2006.
It found that 15 percent of Grade 11 students; nine percent of Grade 9 students; and four percent of Grade 7 students say they are abusing prescription drugs.
Overall, prescription drugs ranked third, behind alcohol and marijuana, as students' stimulant of choice, the AP reported. In a previous survey, inhalants had ranked third.
The survey did identify some positive trends. Less than 20 percent of seventh graders reported that they drank beer or wine in the previous six months, compared to 40 percent in a survey taken a decade ago.
Rates of drinking also declined among ninth and 11th graders over the past decade. The survey also found a decline in the use of marijuana and inhalants among all three age groups, the AP reported. – (HealthDayNews)
Substance abuse Centre