American teens are cutting back on their use of marijuana, but their abuse of prescription drugs in recent years has stayed the same or increased, according to a report released this week by White House drug czar John Walters.
From 2002 to 2005, rates of marijuana use declined from 30.1 percent to 25.8 percent. Over that same period, the use of the painkiller OxyContin increased from 2.7 percent to 3.5 percent and the use of Vicodin, another painkiller, increased from 6 percent to 6.3 percent, the Associated Press reported.
Teens are also abusing anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and stimulants like Adderall, Walters said. Overall, 2.1 million American teens abused prescription drugs in 2005.
Teens are abusing prescription drugs because they believe they're safer than street drugs and they're also easier to obtain, according to Walters. He said many teens get prescription drugs over the Internet or from friends, or steal them from household medicine cabinets, the AP reported.
Adults need to keep track of prescription drugs and dispose of them properly when the drugs expire, Walters said. – (HealthDayNews)
Teens popping prescription pills