Awareness of the recent epidemic of prescription drug abuse is on the rise, but a recent study published in Journal of Public Policy and Marketing suggests that many teens are still not aware of the risks associated with legally prescribed drugs. The study required teens to complete a questionnaire surrounding the use of alcohol and both legal and illegal drugs, as well as their psychological states and risk for drug use.

On the whole, prescription drug use increased in direct proportion to psychological states such as anxiety, and use of other restricted substances such as alcohol. Under some conditions, however, prescription drug abuse accelerated exponentially, such as when the level of anxiety or desire to be popular was at its very highest. Teens need help before they reach these tipping points for prescription drug abuse. Adults spotting teens with very high levels of anxiety and at least moderate use of other restricted substances should realize that these are students with a high likelihood of prescription drug abuse. “

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