Pubdate: Tue, 16 May 2006
Source: Wall Street Journal (US)
Page: D4
Copyright: 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Author: Associated Press
Cited: Partnership for a Drug-Free America study - 22 page .pdf file
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


While teen smoking and drinking continue to drop, a new survey 
indicates that teenage abuse of prescription drugs has become "an 
entrenched behavior" that many parents fail to recognize.

For a third straight year, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America 
study showed that about one in five teens has tried prescription 
painkillers like Vicodin or OxyContin to get high -- about 4.5 
million teens. It also indicated that many teens feel experimenting 
with prescription drugs is safer than illegal highs.

Forty percent said prescription medicines were "much safer" than 
illegal drugs, while 31% said there was "nothing wrong" with using 
prescription drugs "once in a while." The study further found that 
29% of teens believe prescription pain relievers are nonaddictive.

"It's really a case now of accepting the fact that it's here," 
Partnership President and Chief Executive Steve Pasierb said of the 
prescription-drug numbers. "Clearly, this is a true problem in 
American society."

Mr. Pasierb said it was a good sign that the prescription-drug 
numbers hadn't increased, but warned parents that the source of drugs 
is the family medicine cabinet more than any dealer. The study found 
62% of teens said prescription pain relievers are easy to find at 
home. And 52% said prescription pain relievers are "available everywhere." 
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