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Facts & Figures

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

  • More than 2,000 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.1
  • 12-17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than ecstasy, heroin, crack/cocaine and methamphetamines combined.1
  • More than 70% of people 12 and older who abuse prescription drugs say they get 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
  • As many as 1 in every 5 teens in America say they have taken a prescription drug that was not prescribed for them.3
  • Two-thirds of teens who abuse prescription drugs did so before the age of 16.2
  • 14% of teens (about 1 in 7) in a recent study reported using prescription pain relievers not prescribed for them in the past year, and 9% (about 1 in 11) reported doing so in the past month.2
  • Thousands of rogue websites selling prescription drug products do not require a valid prescription. Learn more.

Resource Guide

Rx Safety Matters also provides a downloadable Resource Guide for Families & Communities:

Click here to view online or download.

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

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-44, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 12-4713. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2012.
  2. 2010 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, April 6, 2011.
  3. Preventing Teen Abuse Prescription Drugs FACT SHEET, 2010, The Partnership at DrugFree.org.