Site Navigation
For Tweens & Teens

Sharing Pills Can Kill


Click here to view, download, print, or purchase these posters.

 Click here to order free materials about preventing
prescription medicine abuse for you or someone you know.

Watch our 30-second video about the danger of pill sharing.

 Visit to learn more about this growing problem for teens.  

Did you know that in 2010, nearly 30% of calls to Carolinas Poison Center 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 presciption 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
Depressants     slow normal brain function sedatives, tranquilizers, barbiturates Valium Xanax


increase alertness, attention, and energy 



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.

Click on this link to 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.



Teens & Inhalants
Carolinas Poison Center    P.O. Box 32861    Charlotte  NC    28232-2861    1-800-222-1222  •  © 2017