The number of teens who have abused prescription drugs in Indiana nearly doubled between 2003 and 2014, the most recent data from the Indiana Youth Institute indicates. The data, published in the 2015 Kids Count in Indiana Data Book (PDF, page 62), show that in 2003, 6.9% of high school seniors had abused prescription drugs, and in 2014 that number jumped to 13.5%. The report indicates that the most commonly abused prescription drugs among Indiana teens are prescription pain relievers such as Vicodin® and OxyContin®, stimulants that treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder such as Adderall® and Ritalin®, and anti-anxiety medications such as Valium® and Xanax®. In fact, by their senior year, Indiana teens are more likely to have abused over-the-counter or prescription drugs than to have used drugs like heroin, cocaine, or ecstasy.
To help educate consumers – including parents and teens – about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, the AWARXE® Prescription Drug Safety Program website provides numerous resources. AWARXE also encourages secure storage of needed medications and safe, legal disposal of unneeded, expired prescription drugs to help prevent the drugs from falling into the hands of those who may misuse them.