If sales of drug test panels are an indicator, then it could mean that prescription drug abuse among teenagers is on the rise.
TestCountry.com, a leading online distributor of testing panels for various uses, has recently announced an increase in their sales of drug test panels, particularly those used for determining prescription drug abuse in teenagers.
Topping the list is the sales figures for opiate panels. Opiate drugs are often prescribed to relieve pain. Examples include Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percodan.
Closely following sales figures for opiate panels are those for benzodiazepines and buprenorphine. Benzodiazepines like Valium, Ativan, and Halcion are used to treat sleep disorders and anxiety. On the other hand, drugs containing buprenorphine are actually used for treating opioid addiction withdrawal.
These trends coincidentally parallel the 2008 results of the annual survey made by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) through its Monitoring the Future (MFT) program. According to the NIDA fact sheet, 15.4% of teenagers in the United States reported having gone through prescription drug abuse in 2008.
The survey further revealed that the substances being taken non-medically by these teenagers continue to be tranquilizers, barbiturates, amphetamines, opiates, and sedatives. Other drugs being abused are those readily available at drugstore counters, such as cough medicine.
But while the numbers describing prescription drug abuse among teenagers is considered as alarming, this percentage is still thought of as low when compared to that of teenagers struggling with the use of marijuana and other cannabis-derived drugs. Marijuana remains to be the most commonly abused substance among teenagers in the United States. Of the teenagers surveyed by the MFT in 2008, 26.9% have reported using it.
NIDA has reported that stress is one of the contributing factors behind prescription drug abuse among teenagers. The need to fit in and to perform well, coupled with peer pressure and lack of guidance from parents or guardians, can cause teenagers to cope with the use of prescription drugs.
Lack of information has also led teenagers to believe that prescription drugs are safer than illegal substances like cocaine or heroin because they are prescribed by licensed doctors and are bought from a pharmacy.
Prescription drugs are also the ones most readily available to teenagers. They can get their dosage from the medicine used by their parents and siblings. They can also persuade friends with conditions such as ADHD to give them some of their medicine.
Despite the concerns raised by prescription drug abuse among teenagers, NIDA has nonetheless stated that there is a steady decline in substance abuse in that age group. Past-year use of illegal drugs aside from marijuana is down from 13.1% in 2007 to 11.3% in 2008. The same goes for the use of crystal meth, from 1.6% to 1.1%.
In NIDA's prescription drug abuse research, parental supervision is named as one of the factors deemed crucial towards the prevention of the non-medicated use of prescription drugs among teenagers. Drug testing panels that are usable at home remain to be one of the most common ways that parents turn to in determining if the teenager in the household is taking drugs without prescriptions.
For more information on prescription drug abuse among teenagers, please visit testcountry.org.
TestCountry.com is an online home test kit superstore. The company offers home or work drug test kits for a variety of needs, including HIV / AIDS testing kits, pregnancy and fertility testing, paternity and DNA testing, drug abuse testing, steroid testing, nicotine testing, lead testing, health hazard detection, nutrition and wellness testing. TestCountry specializes in easy-to-use tests that can be individually administered in the security and privacy of a home or office. All shipments are packaged discreetly, thus respecting the privacy of clients. The company also operates exclusively through their website, and features a question and answer section providing responses to many common concerns users may have related to the various types of home testing.