Pubdate: Tue, 16 May 2006
Source: Herald, The (WA)
Copyright: 2006 The Associated Press
Cited: Partnership for a Drug-Free America study - 22 page .pdf file
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone) .


NEW YORK - Teenage smoking and drinking continue to drop, but teen
abuse of prescription drugs has become "an entrenched behavior" that
many parents fail to recognize, a survey released today shows.

For the third straight year, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America
study showed that about one in five teens have tried prescription drug
painkillers such as Vicodin or OxyContin. It also indicated that many
teens feel that experimenting with prescription drugs is safer than
illegal drugs.

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

Although this was the group's 18th annual survey, it marked only the
third year of compiling figures on the abuse of legal drugs. In 2003,
the study found that 20 percent of teens had tried the prescription
drugs Vicodin, OxyContin and Tylox. Over the next two years, the
numbers remained fairly consistent.

Steve Pasierb, partnership president, said it was a good sign that the
prescription drug numbers had not increased, but warned parents that
the source of drugs is now the family medicine cabinet more than any
drug dealer.

The study found that 62 percent of teens said prescription pain
relievers were easy to come by at home, and 52 percent said
prescription pain relievers were "available everywhere."

A study by the University of Michigan released in December indicated
that American teens were smoking less and using prescription drugs
more. It found that one in 10 high school seniors had experimented
with prescription painkillers.

The partnership survey put teen smoking at 22 percent, down from 23
percent last year and 42 percent in 1998. The number of teens drinking
in the previous 30 days was down from 33 percent last year to 31
percent; in 1998, the figure was 42 percent.

The 2005 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study surveyed more than 7,300
teens in grades seven through 12, the largest ongoing analysis of teen
drug-related attitudes toward drugs in the country.
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