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ERIC Number: ED538193
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse Prevention. Prevention Update
Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention
According to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, "abuse of prescription drugs to get high has become increasingly prevalent among teens and young adults. Past year abuse of prescription pain killers now ranks second--only behind marijuana--as the Nation's most prevalent illegal drug problem." Use of prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription or only for the experience or feeling they cause is commonly referred to as "nonmedical" use. According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, approximately 363,000 emergency department visits in 2007 involved the nonmedical use of pain relievers (including both prescription and over-the-counter [OTC] pain medications). Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Dexadrine, which are all classified as stimulants and have been dubbed "study drugs," are being used on college campuses to increase energy, alertness, mood, and well-being. These "study drugs" come with their own set of risks if they are taken without a prescription, including irregular heartbeat, high body temperatures, cardiovascular failure, and seizures. Some OTC medications, such as cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan, have beneficial effects when taken as recommended; but they can also be abused and lead to serious adverse health consequences. According to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, among college students, friends and peers are the most common sources to obtain prescription drugs to use nonmedically. This paper describes efforts to address prescription and OTC drug abuse among college students. A list of resources is included.
Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention. EDC, Inc. 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453. Tel: 800-676-1730; Fax: 617-928-1537; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (ED); Education Development Center, Inc.
Authoring Institution: Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention (ED)