Saturday, September 13, 2008

Teens popping parents' pills for easy high

ALMOST one in four teenagers is raiding their parents' medicine cabinets for prescription drugs in a new trend dubbed "pharming".
Australian youths aged 12 to 17 are most likely to take medications recreationally because they are cheaper, easier to obtain and mistakenly believed to be "safe", a new study has revealed.

In a risky bid to maximise a "hit", youngsters are crushing cocktails of pills and snorting the powder, mixing them with alcohol or even injecting.

Pharmaceutical medicines have now overtaken marijuana as the traditional teen drug of choice, with more than twice as many regular users.

Commonly abused drugs include anti-depressants, painkillers and ADHD medications, such as Ritalin.

In a new study of 2813 young Australians, researchers said the "most concerning" finding was that 23.5 per cent of 12 to 25-year-olds took prescription drugs recreationally.

Paul Dillon of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia said young people commonly believed if a drug came from a doctor it was safe.

"We live in a pharmaceutical world where there's a drug for everything, so we are creating a generation of users," he said.


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