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Drugs Prescription drugs

• OxyContin use by twelfth graders is up 40 percent nationwide in just three years. Five times as many twelfth graders report using OxyContin than report using methamphetamine. 1

• Among adolescents and young adults, 9.3 percent reported using Vicodin. That number makes Vicodin one of the most commonly abused illicit drugs. 2

• Sixty-three percent of youth who had used prescription drugs non-medically in the past year had also used marijuana in the past year. 3

• Approximately 2.8 million persons aged 12 or older had used OxyContin non-medically at least once in their lifetime. 4

• Among more than 7,300 teenagers surveyed, approximately 1 in 10 teenagers, or 2.3 million teenagers nationally, reported abusing OxyContin. 5

• More teenage girls than boys now smoke and abuse prescription drugs, and girls also are starting to use marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes at a higher rate than boys. 6

• The rise in female teen drug use is opposite overall trends, which indicate less use of illicit drugs. 7

• More girls were first-time marijuana users in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Many more girls than boys of the same age illicitly used prescription drugs. 8

• Increased stress, concerns about appearance, and the need to escape the trauma of physical or sexual abuse may be factors in the trend [toward increased illicit prescription drug use among girls]. "Girls want to do what older guys are doing or they want to be cool," said Meghan Ward, 18, who volunteers with a Connecticut group called Peer Advocates. "Girls do feel a lot of stress - everything from school, to most of us work, we have boyfriends, and we want to maintain good friendships. It's hard." 9

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1. Monitoring the Future, 2005 study, National Institute on Drug Abuse.
2. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, 2001.
3. Ibid.
4. National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings , 2003. , Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, September 2004.
5. Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, 2004.
6. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy , 2006.
7. National Survey on Drug Use and Health , 2004.
8. Ibid.
9. The Washington Post, February 9, 2006.

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