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Diversion of Prescription Drugs
Young people rarely obtain prescription drugs using methods commonly associated with pharmaceutical diversion such as pharmacy theft, prescription fraud, or doctor shopping--visiting numerous doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions. Instead, adolescents typically obtain prescription drugs from peers, friends, or family members. Law enforcement officers report that in some cases, particularly with regard to the stimulant Ritalin, teenagers who have legitimate prescriptions sell or give away the drug. Young people also acquire prescription drugs by stealing them from relatives and other individuals with legitimate prescriptions or from school medicine dispensaries.
Illinois Students Distributing Prescription Drugs
Young People and Diversion
??Young people will continue to abuse prescription drugs, the age at which they begin to abuse these drugs will continue to decrease, and rates of abuse will likely increase. Data provided by NHSDA and MTF indicate that the percentage of adolescents who abuse certain prescription drugs is high and increasing. The number of treatment admissions, although relatively stable at low levels, also is likely to increase as more youth experiment with and become addicted to prescription drugs. Law enforcement agencies, healthcare providers, school officials, social workers, and parents will continually be challenged to develop innovative approaches to address this problem. Such approaches may include informing young people of the risks associated with prescription drug abuse via antidrug messages and educational programs.
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