Prescription Medicine Abuse Is A Problem That Can’t Be Ignored

Take the Medication Abuse Quiz and find out how much you know about prescription drug abuse. Learn how kids think about prescription medicines, how common it is for teens to misuse and abuse these drugs where kids are getting access and what you can do to reduce teen medicine abuse.

How widespread is the problem?

  • 1 in 4 teens reports having misused or abused a prescription drug at least once
  • Between 2008 and 2012, the number increased 33% to about 5 million teens – nearly twice the population of Chicago

Where do kids get access?

  • 1 in 5 parents indicate they’ve given their teen a prescription that was not prescribed for them
  • 4 in 10 teens indicate prescription drugs are “everywhere”
  • More than half of teens indicate it’s easy to get prescription drugs from their parent’s medicine cabinet

Few adults warn teens

  • Only 14% of teens indicated they had discussed with a parent the misuse or abuse of any type of prescription drug
  • In contrast, 80% of teens have discussed the risks of alcohol and 81% have discussed the risks of marijuana with their parents


Source: 2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation

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