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Report Finds Less Misuse of Painkillers by Teenagers

A new federal report finds that while teenage use of marijuana and e-cigarettes is holding steady, abuse of prescription painkillers among teens seems to be decreasing.

“The percentage of 12th graders who said they had used narcotics other than heroin — generally prescription opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin — decreased to 5.4 percent from a high of 9.5 percent in the 2004 report. Addiction to the medications has been particularly worrisome because it can lead to heroin abuse, widely considered a continuing epidemic.”

“Several experts ascribed the decrease to growing understanding of the dangers of painkillers among both young people and prescribers. Significantly fewer students said the pills were easy to obtain, suggesting that doctors were prescribing more cautiously and adults were keeping medications in locations more secure than medicine cabinets.” Read more.

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