You’ve talked to your kids about drugs and alcohol, right? Cocaine, marijuana, maybe heroin, mushrooms, and crack. But what about prescrtion drug abuse? What about all that stuff in your medicine cabinet? About 80 percent of teenagers say that they’ve talked with their parents about alcohol and marijuana use, and about one in three said they’d they’d discussed cocaine and crack. But only 14-16 percent say that prescription drug abuse (including painkillers) ever came up.
It’s no big surprise, then, that nearly 25 percent of American teenagers—that’s more than 5 million kids—say they’ve abused prescription medications. That’s up 33 percent in just the past five years. Here are some of the sobering statistics from a poll of 3,900 9th-12th graders and 800 parents conducted by The Partnership at drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation: