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Millions of Teens Report Using Rx and OTC Meds Without a Doctor


									     Millions of Teens Report Using Rx and OTC Meds
                  Without a Doctor’s Order
                    WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21st

    Gone are the days when teens used to catch          advertising time and space in mass media to
their drug fix in the back of an alley or on a          guarantee anti-drug ads reach teen audiences.
street corner. In its annual national study of teen        The PATS study and the additional quantita-
drug abuse, the Partnership for a Drug-Free             tive study will develop and release parent-targe-
America® reports that an alarming number of             ted education campaigns on Rx and OTC abuse
teenagers are abusing a variety of prescription         sometime later this year, as part of its “Partne-
(Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) medications             ring with Families” program.
to get high. The data report significant declines
in the number of teenagers using tobacco, and               “We must focus on preventing the intentio-
noteworthy declines in the number of teens              nal abuse of these medications, and on under-
using alcohol.                                          standing the fine line between appropriate use
                                                        and abuse. We should not demonize these
   The 2004 Partnership Attitude Tracking               otherwise beneficial medications, but rather
Study (PATS) surveyed more than 7,300 teen-             work to change behavior.” (Michael Maves,
agers. Approximately one in five teenagers has          M.D., CEO, American Medical Association.)
abused a prescription painkiller to get high, and           “Kids today are much more sophisticated
one in 11 has abused OTC products. Teens are            than most adults are,” warned Hedrick, director
familiar with brand names of a wide variety of          of the PATS. “We're so behind the curve here.”
medications and accurately describe their                   “For the first time, our national study finds
effects. Close to half of all teens believe using       that today’s teens are more likely to have
prescription medications to get high is “much           abused a prescription painkiller to get high than
safer” than street drugs. Close to one-third say        they are to have experimented with a variety of
prescription painkillers are not addictive. When        illicit drugs”, Roy Bostock, chairman of the
teens were asked why prescription medicine              partnership, said.
abuse was increasing among peers, teens cited
“ease of access” as a major factor. The number             Teens have this enormous urge to reach out
of teens using other illicit drugs remains              and tell as many people as they can about what
relatively stable.                                      they find.
   Instead of relying on word of mouth to get               Teens who abuse or have abused an Rx or
details about new ways to get high, teens are           OTC medication are, more often than not, likely
now relying on instant messaging, chat rooms            to report having abused drugs.
and the Internet for their information. “One teen
can stumble across something, and within 36
hours, over 100,000 kids can know about it.”

    37 percent of teens say they have close                drug fix – „Fix“, „Schuss“ (Drogeninjektion)
friends who have abused prescription painkil-              abuse – Missbrauch, missbrauchen
lers like Vicodin®, OxyContin® and Tylox®.                 prescription medication – verschriebene
Some 29 percent say the same about prescrip-                     Medizin
tion stimulants Ritalin® and Adderall®. In                 over-the-counter – “über-die-Ladentheke”
2004, 48 percent of teens reported seeing/hear-            data – Unterlagen, Daten (Pl.)
ing anti-drug ads daily or more often, down                survey – prüfen
from 52 percent the year earlier.                          accurately – genaustens, richtig
    The downturn perhaps reflects cuts in federal          ease – Bequemlichkeit, Leichtigkeit
funding to the National Youth Anti-Drug Media              illicit - illegal
Campaign. Also for the first time teenagers are            quantative study – Massenstudie
more likely to report learning a lot about the             intentional – absichtlich, vorsätzlich
risks of drugs from television commercials than            demonize – verteufeln
they are from their parents. The campaign buys             sophisticated – klug, weltklug

Handout for report                      7th form, May 18, 2005                  Robert Alexander Planck
         Additional information on Rx - and OTC – abuse
Description and meaning of the short cut „Rx“           Chewing
         The symbol "Rx" meaning
         "prescription" is a transliteration of a       Snore crushed tablets
         symbol resembling a capital R with a           First they dissolve them in water and then
         cross on the diagonal. There are various        they are drinking this lotion7
theories as to the origin of this symbol - some
note its similarity to the eye of Horus, others to      Injection
the ancient symbol for Jupiter, both gods whose      Problem in defending medication abuse
protection may have been sought in medical           Many teens can’t or don’t want to talk about
contexts. Alternatively, it may be intended as an    their abuse, so it’s very important to talk with
abbreviation of the Latin recipere, “to take”,       them about the side effects of medication abuse,
and it is quite possible that more than one of       because medications can make addictive and
these factors influenced its form. Literally,        taking these drugs is very dangerous and can
“Rx” indicates an instruction, “to take” what is     lead to lifelong damages of the body.
specified in the prescription, although this was
probably originally directed at the pharmacist
who needed to take a certain amount of each
drug and prepare them, rather than at the patient
who must take the medicine, in the sense of
consuming it.1

Most abused medications
 painkillers
   cough medicine2
   sleeping-pills
   sedative/ tranquilizer3

Taking of Rx or OTC
Taking of these 'legal' drugs can lead to a lot of
side effects. Most of them produce sleepiness,
unconsciousness4, rapid breathing, increased
rate of heartbeat, hallucinations, aggressive        Why do they take these medicamets?
behavior or an exaggeration5 of their usual               OxyContin
effects.                                             Abusers crush the tablets to defeat the time-
Long term taking can lead to liver, kidney           release mechanism, and have been reported to
damage, heart or blood pressure problems and         snort or inject the resulting powder to achieve
many other body – restrictions6.                     rapid absorption into the bloodstream.
The wrong taking of medicaments can also             Oxycodone has similar effects to morphine and
strengthen their usual effects. Teens exactly        heroin, and appeals to the same abuse
know how to take medications to get high of it,      community.
but this leads to a faster and highly dangerous           Adderall
release of the contents of the medication.           Aderall uses amphetamine stimulants to help
How they take these medications                      the user concentrate on one thing at a time,
1                                                    many students today request Adderall from
  Hustenmittel                                       doctors in order to use it for tests and finals.
  Beruhigungsmittel                                  7
  Bewusstlosigkeit                                   Lösung, Flüssigkeit
  Körperl. Einschränkungen

Handout for report                      7th form, May 18, 2005              Robert Alexander Planck

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