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Facts & Figures

Prescription drug abuse IS STILL DRUG ABUSE. Get the facts:

  • More than 1,600 teens begin abusing prescription drugs each day.1
  • Many kids believe prescription drugs are safer to abuse than illegal drugs.2
  • After marijuana, the most common drugs teens are using to get high are prescription medications.3
  • 12-17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than ecstasy, heroin, crack/cocaine and methamphetamines combined.1
  • Two-thirds of people 12 and older (68%) who have abused prescription pain relievers within the past year say they got them from a friend or relative.1
  • The most commonly abused prescription drugs are pain medications, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medications and stimulants (used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders).1
  • Almost 1 in every 4 teens in America say they have taken a prescription drug that was not prescribed for them.3
  • One in five teens (20%) who have abused prescription drugs did so before the age of 14.2
  • 9% of teens (about 1 in 10) in a recent study reported using prescription pain relievers not prescribed for them in the past year, and 5% (about 1 in 20) reported doing so in the past month.3
  • Thousands of rogue websites selling prescription drug products do not require a valid prescription. Learn more.

Next, learn about the warning Signs & Symptoms of drug abuse.

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014.
  2. 2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study
  3. 2013 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study