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Teen prescription narcotics abuse fueled by medication at home

Aug. 31, 2013 at 2:05 AM

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 31 (UPI) -- U.S teen abuse of prescription narcotics is partly fueled by medication adolescents get in their own homes, researchers say.

Paula Ross-Durow at the University of Michigan said if a teen was prescribed a drug, parents might leave the drugs available.

Ross-Durow analyzed data on 230 Michigan eighth- and ninth-graders who said they had been prescribed medications.

"About three-quarters of those teens said that they had unsupervised access to their medications," Ross-Durow said in a statement.

Ross-Durow said parents need to dispense the medication and keep them locked up -- otherwise, teens could use them when not medically needed, sell them to other teens and visiting teens couldn't steal them.

The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.