Prescription Drug Use Remains High Among Teens

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National survey shows little change in overall adolescent drug use and slight increase in prescription sedatives and painkillers.

The results from the 2005 Monitoring the Future survey were released last week by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the University of Michigan. Overall statistics show a very slight decline in illicit drug use among teens, but the use of prescription drugs such as sedatives and the narcotic painkiller Oxycontin have continued to increase.

In the survey category of narcotics other than heroin, the use of such substances as prescription painkillers steadily increased from 1992 to 2002 and there has been little change since then. In a release from the University of Michigan, one of the authors and lead researchers of the study, Lloyd Johnston said, “That makes this one of the few classes of drugs in which we have not seen improvement, after a substantial rise in use.”

Oxycontin is a name brand painkiller in the oxycodone category. Due to it’s powerfully addictive qualities, the drug has been a major threat in the United States over the last several years and, despite being a controlled substance, has etched its way into the black market drug scene ever since. The past-year use of Oxycontin has risen from 4 percent of 12th-graders in 2002 to 5.5 percent in 2005, which is an increase of 40 percent.

As one of the largest and most effective drug education and rehabilitation programs in the nation, Narconon Arrowhead has worked with young and old alike from around the country to combat the use of drugs. As a drug-free rehabilitation program, they recognize that prescription drugs have become a major source of the drug problem in the United States and caution people to remember that all drugs are essentially poisons.

Another category of drug that showed and increase in use were sedatives, which are psychotherapeutic drugs that are central nervous system depressants and are similar to tranquilizers. Some names of sedatives include Valium, Xanax and Librium. In 2005, nearly 8 percent of 12-grade students reported using sedatives non-medically in the last year.

The Monitoring the Future survey first started back in 1975 and this year there results were collected from nearly 50,000 8th, 10th and 12th-grade students from over 400 secondary schools across the country.

For more information on drugs and addiction, or to get help for a loved one in need, contact Narconon Arrowhead today by calling 1-800-468-6933 or visit

Narconon Arrowhead continually achieves a success rate of approximately 70 percent for helping individuals overcome addiction and its effectiveness is directly attributed to the dedication of its staff and the application of L. Ron Hubbard’s drug-free rehabilitation methodology.


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Luke Catton
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