Prescription Drug Abuse
Recent statistics show an alarming 46% rise in the use of prescription drugs by Marin middle schoolers. Many teens are experimenting with deadly combinations of prescription drugs and alcohol. They often get these drugs from parents’ medicine cabinet, from friends, or at parties.
Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs by Marin County Youth:
Ritalin: A mild stimulant prescribed to youth in Marin to treat attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. It can be used to suppress appetite and stay awake, and it produces euphoria.
OxyContin: A strong pain reliever similar to morphine. It is designed to be absorbed gradually and is highly addictive. Crushing or chewing pills can cause a large amount of the active ingredient, oxycodone, to be released at once. It creates the potential for dangerous or fatal overdoses.
Vicodin: An addictive opiate, a strong pain reliever popular among young adults.
Percocet: A painkiller that can be addictive. It is most often prescribed for people who have undergone surgery.
Morphine: Another addictive painkiller also used to treat patients after surgery. It is a base ingredient for many other painkillers, including OxyContin.
Inhalants: ‘Huffing’ is a form of drug abuse that is on the rise among young people. Common inhalants are hair-spray, whipped cream and air-freshener. These products typically contain gases that cause brain damage and harm the liver, kidneys and bone marrow. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that inhalants are the third most abused drug behind tobacco and alcohol in the 12-14 year old age group.
Other Drugs: For more specific information on other commonly used drugs like ecstasy, speed, cocaine and ketamine, visit www.drugabuse.gov