Abuse of Prescription Medicines Increasing Among Young People

About 15% of 18-19-year-olds used prescription medicines non-medically, according to just- released 2001 data from the Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, and the FDA. For persons aged 12-17, almost 8% reported using prescription medicines non- medically. At a Jan. 16 Washington, DC press conference, SAMHSA officials and FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, M.D., announced that pain relievers were the most common category of prescription medicines that were abused by young adults. Together, the two agencies have launched a public education campaign, “The Buzz Takes Your Breath Away,” aimed primarily at 14-25-year-olds.