POSTED: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 8:43pm
UPDATED: Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 11:37am
Tyler TX (KETK) — There is a new study that says teen drug abuse is up, but it may not be what you think.
The drugs our children are taking are not the drugs you may think of when it comes to young people. We're talking about over the counter prescription drug abuse.
More and more teenagers are getting their hands on these types of pharmaceuticals.
A new study shows more teenagers are using prescription medication to get high.
Doctors, pharmacists and youth specialists are finding an alarming rise of prescription drug abuse across the country.
Mostly in 12 to 17 year olds.
Tiffenii Mumphrey a youth specialist tells KETK there is a rise of prescription drug abuse because it is very accessible.
"Teenagers have the perception that prescription drugs are better than illicit drugs. That can't be anything further from the truth," said Mumphrey.
According to studies, the two most abused prescription drugs and over the counter drugs are opiates like painkillers and stimulants like adderall.
And mixed with something can be deadly.
Amber Culwell's friend died from prescription drugs over a year ago.
Culwell says it is a problem most people aren't aware of.
"It's a hard pill to swallow. A lot of people do it and keep it a secret and they don't realize how it affects the people around them," said Culwell.
A study shows, 1 in 5 high school students have admitted abusing prescription drugs and 20 percent of high school seniors have admitted trying or abusing.
Next Step Coalition has curriculums set up for elementary students and high school students.
Both curriculums aim to steer kids away from drugs.
"I can't tell you how many times kids can't even stay up during class because they've taken vicodin," said Mumphrey.
For parents,lock up the medication and keep an open dialog with your children about the effects and dangers of prescription drugs.