Recent national surveys indicate significant levels of nonmedical use of prescription narcotic analgesics by American youth. Data from the 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health1 indicate that 7.6% of 12- to 17-year-olds and 11.4% of 18- to 25-year-olds abused prescription pain relievers in the past year, with a more than 4-fold increase in the number of new users of these drugs since 1990. The 2002 Monitoring the Future Survey2 indicated that 1.3% of 8th graders, 3% of 10th graders, and 4% of 12th graders used OxyContin during the past year, and even larger proportions (2.5%, 6.9%, and 9.6%, respectively) used Vicodin during the past year.
Inciardi JA, Surratt HL, Martin SS, Gealt R. Prevalence of Narcotic Analgesic Abuse Among Students: Individual or Polydrug Abuse?. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(5):498-499. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.5.498-b