Teens And Prescription Painkillers Essay

690 words - 3 pages

Drugs, both legal and illegal, play a large role in our ever changing society. In today’s news, the topic of marijuana legalization is discussed and debated by politicians on a daily basis. What we do not discuss, however, is one of the fastest growing affairs in teens and young adults throughout the country. Next to marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco, prescription pills are the most abused substance by youth aged 12 to 17. Prescription drug abuse can be defined as taking a prescription drug that was prescribed for someone else or in a manner or dosage other than what was prescribed. (Facts On Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs) Narcotic painkillers are drugs that contain or are derived from opium. Opium is an addictive drug that comes from the juice of the opium poppy flower. (Opium)
Prescription drug abuse among the teenagers of the United States is a rapidly growing issue. According to NIDA For Teens, the majority of teens and young adults obtain prescription drugs from friends and relatives, sometimes without their knowledge. In some cases, the substance can be prescribed to the user, and addiction forms as a result. (Prescription Drugs) In a study conducted by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, nearly one in five teens, 17%, report having used prescription medication at least once in their lifetime for non medical purposes. Six percent of the 10% of teens who report using pain medications such as Oxycontin and Vicodin to get high in the past year say they have used pain medications in the past 30 days to get high. (How Teens Abuse Medicine)
The most shocking fact about this particular group of drugs is the fact that they are legal to a certain degree. When prescribed to an individual by a licensed physician, they are legal. However, according to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, "No controlled substance in schedule II, which is a prescription drug as determined under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), may be dispensed without the written prescription of a practitioner." It is also a crime for a doctor to prescribe too many pills, as these pills may be resold or too much for a...

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