RX drug abuse highest among rural teens

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Findings from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that teenagers from rural areas are more likely to abuse prescription drugs than teenagers in urban areas. The survey, which included almost 18,000 adolescents, reported that 13% of teenagers in rural areas abused prescription drugs, while only 10.3% of teenagers in urban areas engaged in the same behavior. Rural teenagers were especially more likely to use tranquilizers and opioid pain killers. “While we were able to identify potential targets for intervention such as increased access to health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment, this may be difficult for rural areas where such resources are in short supply or nonexistent,” Havens and colleagues noted. Surprisingly, considering the prevalence of overall rural use of methamphetamine, there was no significant difference between rural and urban adolescent use of illegal drugs or alcohol. Click here to read an article from Prescription Drugs.com that discusses this survey more.

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