Sharing Pills Can Kill

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Did you know that in 2010, nearly 30% of calls to NC Poison Control about intentional misuse or abuse of drugs involved teens 13-19? Today, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drug abuse is becoming more of a problem than street drug use. Many teens do not see the misuse of OTC and prescription drugs as a threat to their health.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy:

  • Four out of 10 teens think that prescription medicines are safer to abuse than illicit drugs.
  • Nearly 1/3 of teens believe there's nothing wrong with using prescription medicines without a prescription once in a while.
  • Nearly three out of 10 teens believe prescription painkillers aren't addictive.

The most commonly abused prescription drugs include:

Type of Drug  Prescribed to  Also Known As Brand Names  Generic Names 
Painkillers
prescribed to relieve pain
opioids
narcotics
prescription
pain relievers
OxyContin
Percocet
Vicodin
oxycodone
hydrocodone
Depressants
slow normal brain function
sedatives
tranquilizers
barbiturates
Valium
cXanax
diazepam
alprazolam
Stimulants increase alertness, attention,
and energy
amphetamines
Ritalin
Adderall
Concerta
methylphenidate
amphetamine salts 

Several factors contribute to the danger of abusing OTC and prescription drugs. The amount of a substance taken can determine if it becomes toxic. This means products like OTC and prescription drugs can be harmful, even deadly, if they are used in the wrong amount or wrong way.

Prescription drug misuse or abuse can cause:

  • trouble breathing
  • seizures passing out
  • addiction
  • coma
  • death

Plus, if you are taking other medicines or abusing other substances, there can be a dangerous or deadly interaction.

Hear real stories about drug abuse, to learn facts about getting high, and to play interactive games. 

You can also link to our Substances of Abuse page.

Click here to link to information about teens and inhalants.