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St. Petersburg, Florida

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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Lock Your Medicine Cabinet

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Today may be a good day to put a lock on your medicine cabinet if you have a teenager in your home.

Teens seek ‘safer’ high, get hooked on pain pills

Study finds drop in smoking, drinking as more kids abuse prescription drugs

Teen smoking and drinking continued to drop, but teenage abuse of prescription drugs has become “an entrenched behavior” that many parents fail to recognize, a survey released Tuesday showed.

For a third straight year, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America study showed that about 1 in 5 teens have tried prescription drug painkillers such as Vicodin or OxyContin to get high — about 4.5 million teens. It also indicated that many teens feel experimenting with prescription drugs is safer than illegal highs.

“It’s really a case now of accepting the fact that it’s here,” Partnership President and CEO Steve Pasierb said. “Clearly, this is a true problem in American society.”

Pasierb….warned parents that the source of drugs is now the family medicine cabinet more than any dealer. The study found 62 percent of teens said prescription pain relievers are easy to find at home. And 52 percent say prescription pain relievers are “available everywhere.”

And, while you are securing the family prescription drugs, check out any neighbors or friends who may be making their supply of painkillers available to your teenager. My most recent office interview was with a father and son who had come to tell me how an adult outside of the familty had served as a drug dealer for the son because of her easy access via a local physician.