For a third straight year, a Partnership for a Drug-Free America study found that about 1 in 5 teens–about 4.5 million– have tried prescription drug painkillers such as Vicodin or OxyContin to get high, reports the Associated Press. It also indicated that many teens believe experimenting with prescription drugs is safer than illegal highs. Forty percent said prescription medicines were “much safer” than illegal drugs, while 31 percent said there was “nothing wrong” with using prescription drugs “once in a while.”
Although this was the group’s 18th annual survey, it marked only the third year of compiling figures on the abuse of legal drugs. A partnership official warned parents that the source of drugs is now the family medicine cabinet more than any dealer. The study found 62 percent of teens said prescription pain relievers are easy to find at home.