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Painkillers: One In Eight Older Teens Abusing Prescription Drugs

Painkillers Abuse Among Teens

New research has learned that one in eight older teenagers has used powerful painkillers when they were not prescribed. Many of the teenagers begin abusing the drugs earlier than was previously assumed. This news is based on two nationally-representative surveys that asked teenagers about their recent or prior use of prescription painkillers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 14,800 Americans died of an opioid overdose in 2008. That is three times the number of overdose deaths 20 years earlier. The country is experiencing a prescription drug abuse epidemic, creating societal problems that were not imagined two decades ago.

“The non-medical use of controlled medications in (teens) has surpassed almost all illicit drugs except for marijuana,” said pediatrician Dr. Robert Fortuna of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. “It’s just an alarming trend.”

More physicians are prescribing teenagers pain pills for conditions like back or knee pain. Many of the teenagers are in genuine need of the drugs, but some of the teenagers end up abusing the drugs. Despite this, researchers agreed that there are still valid reasons for prescribing these drugs to teenagers that really need them.

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