7 Legal Drugs Abused by Teens
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7 Legal Drugs Abused by Teens

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 7 out of the top 10 drugs abused in America are legal. They include prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and herbal drugs. Almost 3% of kids ages 12 to 17 admit to abusing a prescription drug in the past month, and 12% of teens admit to abusing OTC cough and cold medicines. To keep teens safe, learn about seven of the most commonly abused drugs by teens in America.


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Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. Drug Facts - Anabolic Steroids. NIDA for Teens. http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/anabolic-steroids 
  2. Drug Facts - Prescription Depressant Medications. NIDA for Teens. http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/central-nervous-system-cns-depressants
  3. Drug Facts - Prescription Pain Medications (Opioids). NIDA for Teens. (http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/opioids-and-pain-reliever-facts); http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/opioids-and-pain-relievers
  4. Drug Facts - Prescription Drugs. NIDA for Teens. http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-drugs
  5. Drug Facts - Salvia. NIDA for Teens. http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/salvia
  6. Dextromethorphan: Preventing Teen Cough Medicine Abuse. Consumer Healthcare Products Association. http://www.chpa.org/DXMTeens.aspx
  7. Commonly Abused Drugs Charts. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse. http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts
  8. Full Report and Key Findings: 2013 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. http://www.drugfree.org/newsroom/pats-2013-full-report-key-findings
  9. Cough Medicine Abuse by Teens. University of Rochester Medical Center. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=2617
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