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Drugs Effects on the brain

Many parents whose kids got addicted say they never thought their child would use drugs. Dr. Brian Johnson, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, explains that denial blocks reality. "When something is frightening, like knowing your child may be behaving in an unsafe way," he says, "you decide not to think about it. You tell yourself it will be all right."

Consider these alarming facts:

• Surveys show that prescription drugs are the second-most used drugs among teens, behind marijuana.1

• 40 percent of 7th- to 12th-graders said that prescription drugs were "much safer" than illicit drugs.2

• 29 percent thought that prescription painkillers were not addictive.2

• Half of all students today try an illicit drug by the time they finish high school.3

• One in five teens has abused a prescription pain medication.2

• One in five teens report abusing prescription stimulants and tranquilizers.2

• The use of OxyContin has risen by almost 40 percent among 12th graders since 2002.2

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1. National Institute on Drug Abuse

2. Partnership for a Drug-Free America

3. University of Michigan/2005 Monitoring the Future Study

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