Teens increasingly abusing prescription drugs

By: Meredith Taylor
By: Meredith Taylor

It's safer than taking illegal drugs...at least, that's what some teenagers think.

Now, they're turning to prescription drugs to get high.

News 12's Meredith Taylor looks into the dangers of this behavior and talks to a local teenager about what's really going on.

17-year old Chris Lybrand's hobby is skateboarding.

Some of his classmates are on a roll at something else: taking painkillers to get high.

"Yeah...Xanax, Percocet, Loratabs," Chris says.

They're putting their lives in danger.

"It's a sedative," says Dr. Janis Coffin of MCG. "And the more that you take, the more you can be sedated, and people have actually died from that.

Dr. Coffin says that's the case for most narcotics...but many teens think prescription drugs are the safest way to get a quick high.

"Prescribed by a doctor, it makes it sound like somebody gave it to you, like telling you to use it," Chris says.

And you may be surprised to find out just where these pills are hiding.

"You can take a ballpoint pen or a highlighter and pull the highlight part out and then cut it off so it still writes, and then put the pills in it, or joint in there," Chris says.

Teens are even hiding drugs in their shoes.

And a new study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America reveals the popular source of these powerful drugs isn't a pharmacy--it's the medicine cabinet.

Dr. Coffin believes this is an easier route for teens...and they believe they're less likely to be caught.

"So I think that if a parent has a narcotic--Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin--hat those should be locked away in a medicine cabinet," she says.

Because right now, the consequences are being overlooked.

"We're young," Chris says. "We don't care."

Dr. Coffin reminds us that prescription drugs are now as abused as much as illegal drugs.

She says parents should talk to their children about the dangers of both.

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