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One in Five Teens Share Their Prescription Drugs with Friends

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A survey of 12- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. has found that about 20 percent said they have given their prescription drugs like Oxycontin and Darvocet to friends or obtained drugs the same way, Reuters reported Aug. 18.

Allergy drugs, narcotic pain relievers, antibiotics, acne medications, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications were the most commonly shared. Three-quarters of those who borrowed drugs from friends said they did so in lieu of visiting a doctor.

About one-third of those who borrowed medications said they had experienced an allergic reaction or other negative side-effects as a result.

Past research has shown that 40 percent of adults also share their medications. “However, prior to our study, no one had asked adolescents how often they shared prescription medications, which meds they shared and what some of the outcomes were,” said lead researcher Richard Goldsworthy of Academic Edge, Inc.

The study was published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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