For many teens, addiction starts in the home medicine cabinet


A study found that prescription drugs in the home help aid the addiction crisis among adolescents and older teens.

University of Houston college of pharmacy's Dr. Douglas Thornton said the Texas School Survey finds the locally, more high school seniors report misusing a prescription drug in the last year.

"Actually, the numbers from 2018 show that the number is higher. It's about 12 percent in the state compared to 11 percent nationwide and 13.1 percent in the area that includes Houston," said Thornton.

He said when it comes to teens misusing prescription drugs, a couple of groups stood out.

"White high schoolers were more likely to have past year non-medical prescription drug use, as well as those who live in suburban neighborhoods, more than urban or rural neighborhoods," said Thornton.

The study finds girls were more likely to use leftover meds than boys. Boys were more likely to get prescription meds from friends or buy them from other sources.

The most common prescription-drug sources for adolescents between 12 and 17 were family members, friends, and prescriptions from doctors that were often written for previous conditions.

Experts urge parents to lock up all their prescription pills and get a NARCAN kit just in case your teen overdoses.

Thornton is working on a $3.34 million grant from the state to distribute medication disposal packets throughout Texas.


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