One in four U.S. high schoolers exposed to pills: report

Nearly 1 in every 4 high school seniors in the United States has ever had some exposure to prescription opioids either medically or nonmedically, according to new research published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

One in eight older U.S. teenagers has abused opioid painkillers without prescriptions, with many of them starting to misuse the pills at age 16 or 17, the research found, while an estimated 80 percent of abusers had previously been prescribed to them for a medical condition.

Nearly 40 Americans die per day from overdoses of prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, according to a recent CDC report. Every day, 2,500 youth between the ages of 12 and 17 abuse a prescription pain reliever for the very first time.

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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