Posts Tagged teen oxycontin abuse

District Schools Work Together Against Substance Abuse

In 2010, the Illinois Youth Survey yielded alarming results that showed about 10% of 8th graders in Lake County have already encountered alcohol at the tender age of 10 or even younger. It was also uncovered that 6% of sophomores are lighting up pot at least twice in a month.

teen drug abuseThis is why the Stevenson High School community took the responsibility of holding the “Saving Our Children” symposium which tackled issues on the use of illicit drugs. Aside from their own parents and students, families from Libertyville and Vernon Hills High schools were also present during the event.

Elisabeth Nelson from the Lake County Health Department said that the data gathered in 2010 failed to include the use of OTC drugs among kids but promised to include the subject in this year’s survey. “We have seen a slight increase in prescription drug abuse in the past year’s data,” Nelson added. “Cough medicine is higher than pain killers.”

According to Nelson, it has been recorded that children who start with the abuse of pain killers, such as Oxycontin and Percocet, ultimately go up the ladder towards heroin addiction. She added that the best sources of these pain medications are the home medicine cabinets where parents and grandparents store their prescriptions without proper security.

While alcohol remains the top drug choice among kids in Lake County, other household substances like inhalants are easily misused especially by middle school students.

Thus, Stevenson High School student assistance program coordinator Stephanie Elsass makes it a point to solicit the support of nearby schools in hosting the symposium every year. For the past seven years, schools in their area have taken turns as panel of experts during the forum.

In a report from the Sun Times, Nelson reminded parents to monitor their children especially in the coming summer season and that the talk on drugs and alcohol should be done at the earliest time possible.

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Marijuana Use Among Teens Increases

While the use of cocaine and methamphetamine among teens may have stabilized in the last few years, pot use is on the rise. In a new study released by The Partnership at, one in every ten kids is smoking marijuana at least 20 times within a month. Students between the 9th and 12th grades are also experimenting with prescription drugs.

smoking potThe situation elevated due to the fact that most parents think that weed is just weed, no cause for alarm. Yet Partnership President Steve Pasierb said that parents should not take the issue of marijuana for granted. “Parents are talking about cocaine and heroin, things that scare them. Parents are not talking about prescription drugs and marijuana. They can’t wink and nod. They need to be stressing the message that this behavior is unhealthy.”

The report showed that marijuana use has increased from only 19% in 2008 to about 27% in 2011. Teens who smoked pot at least 20 times in a month also climbed from 5% in 2008 to last year’s 9%. That’s about 1.5 million teens who regularly light up marijuana.

Previous researches made also had parallel results, like that of a recent survey made by a team from the University of Michigan. The initiative was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that claimed marijuana use is again on the rise after a decline in the last decade.

Results of the study have linked the use of pot and other drugs. It was suggested that teens who regularly use marijuana were also twice more likely to take cocaine or ecstasy.

The study also tackled the issue of pain medications abuse, putting Vicodin and Oxycontin as the drug of choice among teens. It was also noted that ecstasy or cocaine use is highest among Hispanic teens (almost 50%). African American teens followed suit with almost 42% hooked on prescription medications while that of Caucasian teens reached 39%.

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