Easier to Get than Beer: Teens and Prescription Drugs

Recreational use of prescription drugs among teenagers.

From a USA Today article by Janet Kornblum.

More teens now say it’s easier for them to acquire prescription drugs — usually powerful painkillers — than it is to buy beer, according to the 13th annual survey on attitudes about drug abuse, out today, from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

What’s concerning about the trend is the use of very powerful antipsychotics recreationally. Today’s prescription drugs are nothing to laugh at. Furious Seasons writes about this regularly and with gusto. Here’s a does of Furious Seasons:

I continue to be fascinated by how psych meds–and particularly the atypical antipsychotic Seroquel–have wormed their ways into American culture and in how Seroquel has become a drug that, when snorted or shot, can get people low in a way they really seem to dig. As I’ve reported before, this drug seems to be replacing–or supplementing–OxyContin as a new hillbilly heroin.

And here’s a new example: dude gets busted in Massachusetts for, among other things, having hundreds of Seroquel pills that he didn’t have an Rx for. Clearly, he or his friends are slinging this drug and taking this drug (which simply staggers me given how gnarly this drug is when taken as intended) and, as I recently noted, some folks are so attracted (dependent? addicted?) to Seroquel that they will fake symptoms of schizophrenia in order to get a “legitimate” Rx.

So, what are your kids doing? (Back to USA Today)

Almost half (46%) of teens surveyed say they leave their homes on school nights to hang out with friends — and sometimes use drugs and alcohol. But only 14% of parents say their teens leave home to hang out with friends.

Teens still say it’s easiest to buy cigarettes and marijuana. But for the first time, they say prescription drugs not prescribed to them areeasier to get than beer, the survey says.


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Clinical Psychologist practicing in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

2 thoughts on “Easier to Get than Beer: Teens and Prescription Drugs”

  1. Hey! I am 15 and while I do not do drugs, it is scary to think that my peers might be acquiring prescription drugs easier than beer. I agree that this really is a frigtening thing. I write for a blog (RadicalParenting.com), which also had an article written similar to this one entitled “Teens Say Prescription Drugs Are Easier To Buy Than Beer.” The numbers in the survey conducted for that article was strikingly simililar to the one conducted here deliberating that when teens go hang out with their friends they are most likely doing drugs and/or drinking. I believe that if there was more parental supervision going on, more than half of the teens surveyed in both surveys wouldn’t have said that when they hang out with their friends in the night, there are partcipating in such matters. You can check out the article mentioned above here: http://www.radicalparenting.com/2008/11/30/teens-say-prescription-drugs-are-easier-to-buy-than-beer/
    Thanks! Feel free to add any feedback on any articles on our site!


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