Muir Wood therapist, David Laing

Teen Prescription Drug Misuse Rates. New Study Out Now!

A new study sought to determine how much of a problem intentional prescription drug abuse is among the teenage population in the United States. Utilizing data culled from poison control centers associated with the Researched Abuse Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) System, the study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, was able to determine that intentional abuse of prescription opiates and stimulants among teens was a significant problem between the years 2007 and 2009. It found that:

  • There were 16,209 teens who intentionally took prescription drugs and called poison control. Of this number, 68 percent used opiate drugs (e.g., OxyContin, Vicodin) and 32 percent used stimulant drugs (e.g., methamphetamine, amphetamines).
  • Average age of the person who abused the drugs was 16.6 years.
  • Female drug users were the subjects of 52 percent of the calls.
  • About 38 percent of the calls were believed to be related to suicidal use of prescription drugs.
  • Of the calls that resulted in death, the most commonly abused drugs responsible for the overdose were oxycodone and methadone.

What Prescription Drugs Are Most Often Abused by Teens?

According to the study, the calls taken by participating poison control centers revealed the top five prescription drugs of abuse among teens to be:

  • Hydrocodone: 32 percent
  • Amphetamines: 18 percent
  • Oxycodone: 15 percent
  • Methylphenidate: 14 percent
  • Tramadol: 11 percent

Is Your Son Abusing Prescription Medications?

Whether your child is finding unused pills in the medicine cabinet, getting medications from friends, or abusing a prescription of his own, it can have devastating consequences. Parents are urged to pay attention to the signs of drug abuse in their teen and intervene as soon as they identify the problem.

At Muir Wood, we offer a rehabilitation program designed specifically for teen boys who are struggling with drug abuse of any kind. Our program focuses on experiential treatments and therapies and offers boys a chance to rebuild confidence and address trauma and underlying issues, while learning how to make positive choices when faced with stressors. Our call center is open 24 hours a day to aid parents who are struggling with how best to handle their son’s drug abuse or addiction. We can provide you with answers and give you more information about our family-based program. Contact us now to speak with someone who can assist you, or download an application packet today.