Doctors grow less wary when prescribing pain meds to teens

Prescriptions for controlled substances such as painkillers and stimulants have nearly doubled among teens due in part to pain advocates and more lax attitudes toward medicating, reports this article in US News. According to a new study in the journal Pediatrics, medications such as OxyContin and Ritalin were prescribed at 6.4 percent of doctor visits for adolescents in 1994, but rose to 11.2 percent in 2007. For older teenagers, the rate increased from 8.3 percent to 16.1 percent. The article cites sales of oxycodone as a factor driving the upward trend, with sales raising 732 percent and those of methadone by more than 1,000 percent between 1997 and 2006. Though the study did not look at the connection of increased prescribing practices to prescription drug misuse among young adults, the researchers suggest the link warrants further study.

About Dana Owens

Dana Owens is San Francisco-based writer, editor and blogger who works on diverse projects from holistic health research to record label promotion. In addition to lending her editorial eye to Oxy Watchdog, Dana also acts as copyeditor for 99 Series, Inc. and executive assistant/project coordinator for Heartline Productions.
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