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Teens Turning To Over-The-Counter Drugs

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

Today's teenagers are looking beyond more traditional drugs like marijuana to get high. What's popular now is right inside the medicine cabinet.

"I would just have to call one friend, just go into his father's cabinet right there, take it out, just take some out, very sneaky with it," said recovering drug addict Val Maroulis.

Eighteen-year-old Maroulis ditched marijuana and cocaine for painkillers like Oxycontin, and he's not alone. Surveys revealed on Thursday, April 21, by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America show today's teenagers are more likely to abuse prescriptions than they are to experiment with illegal drugs. Nearly half say they've gotten high on prescription drugs and cough syrup.

"There are more and more of those drugs available, so kids can buy or sell from each, or even steal them from their parents," said Region Ten Counselor Archer Maness.

One pharmacist has taken calls from parents, asking why their child would have prescriptions in their book bags.

"They're usually pretty disturbed that their children have obtained prescription drugs from their friends at school or wherever," said pharmacist Leigh Ann Schiebel.

Stacey Hall's son, Adam, died from a prescription overdose. It was a danger she didn't see coming.

"Conversations I would have with Adam were 'don't do marijuana'. Never did I ever, ever consider prescription drugs," said Hall.

It's a reminder to parents that in the wrong hands, these well meaning pills can be a prescription for disaster.


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