7 Legal Drugs Teens are Abusing
A recent study by cnn.com names seven legal drugs abused by teens today. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 7 out of the top 10 drugs abused in America by teens are legal. The list is composed to herbal remedies, over the counter drugs, and prescription drugs – all of which can be purchased at one’s local pharmacy—not on the street. The study further indicated that alarmingly, about 3% of kids ages 12 to 17 admit to abusing a prescription drug in the past month, and 12% of teens admit to abusing OTC cough and cold medicines in that time frame. If you are wondering how to keep those you love from abusing legal drugs while in their teens, read through the following list and be aware of what you have in your home. It just takes a minute to find a safe place to lock these dangerous legal substances up to prevent abuse.
- Prescription Stimulants: if a prescription is used in any way other than the doctor prescribed it, it is consider drug abuse. The most commonly abused legal prescription drug is a stimulant called Adderall. The research shows that almost 8% of 12th graders have tried Adderall, known on the street as speed.
- Prescription Pain Medicines: these opioids can cause addiction can lead to overdose just like heroin. Many teens think that because a physician gives prescription pain pills that they are harmless. Most commonly abused by teens are the drugs Oxycontin and Viocodin. More than 7% of 12th graders admit to using Vicodin in the past year.
- Over the Counter Cough Medicine: Teens may abuse cough syrup because it can cause hallucinations and a feeling of being away from reality. However, it can cause dangerous side effects and panic attacks. Almost 6% of 12th graders say they’ve been high from cough medicine.
- Prescription Depressants: Teens may take these sedatives for their drowsy and calming effects. Nembutal, Valium, Xanax, Ambien, and Lunesta are among the most commonly abused. Use of these depressants can slow down one’s heart and breathing to dangerous levels. If alcohol is present, prescription depressants can be especially deadly. The study showed that around 2% of 12th graders report using a sedative or tranquilizer in the past month.
- Salvia – this drug is an herb that teens smoke or chew. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Agency in the U.S. has not made salvia illegal. However, use of it can cause a distorted sense of reality and can cause long-term learning and memory problems. Although less common in its abuse by teens, in 2009, almost 6% of high school seniors reported trying salvia.
- Anabolic Steroids – Not surprisingly, steroids are often abused by teens. Teens may want to appear larger or stronger and they don’t recognize the damage of steroid use on their bodies’ long term including shrunken testicles for men, facial hair growth for women, and kidney and liver damage. Almost 2% of high school seniors have tried anabolic steroids.
- Tobacco and Alcohol – Both alcohol and tobacco are legal and many teens parents use both drugs Although teens may be made aware of the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use, they may not believe the warnings if their loved ones or acquaintances are using them. Alcohol abuse kills brain cells and damages important organs in the body and smoking destroys the lungs. About 40% of 12th graders admit to drinking alcohol in the past month.
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