Prescription drugs are dangerous when they are not used correctly as directed by a doctor.
- One in five teens have taken a prescription drug that was not theirs to get high or to deal with problems.
- Teens are abusing pain pills (Vicodin®, OxyContin®), stimulants (Ritalin®, Adderall®), and tranquilizers (Xanax®, Valium®).
- Teens take these drugs right out of the medicine cabinet – at home, at a friend’s house, or when visiting family.
- 5.2 million people, including kids ages 12 and older, said they had abused prescription pain relievers, as reported in a 2007 survey.
- More people are visiting the emergency room because they misused prescription pain medication. From 2004 to 2009, emergency room visits due to misusing narcotic pain pills increased by almost 100%.
The DEA coordinates with the local law enforcement and community partners to provide thousands of sites across the country, many of them at police departments, so that the unwanted drugs are disposed of safely and legally. Sites will accept pills, both prescription and nonprescription, for disposal.
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