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NIDA

Stop Rx Abuse - Ignorance is NO excuse

NIDA recently challenged the public to create Infographics that present current scientific  information about prescription drug abuse in interesting, novel, and creative ways to help inform and educate the general public. We awarded 3 prizes and over the next several months, the other prize winning graphics will be displayed online. The winning Infographic, STOP Rx ABUSE – Ignorance is NO excuse, by Dr. Raj Arangarasan, colorfully presents data and statistics about prescription drug abuse among teens.  Dr. Arangarasan’s main goal was to create a starting point from which teens and parents can talk openly and honestly about prescription drug abuse.

Infographic - see text below for description

Text Description of Infographic

Center (First) Layer: Teens & Rx - Prescription drugs abused by teens
Prescription drug abuse is a significant health problem1.

Second Layer: Category: Types of Rx abused
ADHD stimulants can block small blood vessels2. Opioid painkillers have similar effects to heroin3. Depressants slow down brain activity4. Dextromethorphan is available over the counter.

Third Layer: Brands: Common brand names5,6
Common brand names for ADHD stimulants are Adderall, Ritalin and Concerta. Common brand names for opioid painkillers are Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet and Codeine. Common brand names for depressants are Valium, Xanax, Halcion and Ativan. Common brand names for dextromethorphan are Dimetapp DM, Robitussin DM, Sudafed, Dayquil Liquicaps, Vicks NyQuil and more.

Fourth Layer: Street: Common street names7,8
Common street names for ADHD stimulants are Skippy, The smart drug, Vitamin R, Bennies, Black beauties, Roses, Hearts, Speed and Uppers. Common street names for opioid painkillers are Hillbilly heroin, Oxy, OC, Oxycotton, Percs, Happy pills and Vikes. Common street names for depressants are Candy, Downers, Sleeping pills and Tranks. Common street names for dextromethorphan are Orange crush, Triple C's, C-C-C, Red devils, Skittles, Dex, Vitamin D, Robo, Robo-tripping and Robo-dosing.

Fifth Layer: Signs - Watch for symptoms9,10
Symptoms of ADHD stimulant abuse include anxiety, delusions and chest pain with heart palpitations. Symptoms of opioid painkiller abuse include constricted pupils, nausea, vomiting and respiratory depressions. Symptoms of depressant abuse include slurred speech, dizziness and respiratory depressions. Symptoms of dextromethorphan abuse include confusion, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fast heartbeat, stomach pain and disorientation.

Sixth Layer: Where - How they acquire11
From Parents: 42% of teens obtained prescription drugs from their parent's medicine cabinet. From Friends: 49% of teens obtained prescription drugs from a friend. Parents Gave: 20% of parents given their teen an unprescribed drug.

Outermost (Seventh) Layer: Prevent - Ways to Help12
MONITOR - Restrict access to prescription drug medicine cabinets. 56% of teens say it is easy to get their parent's prescription drugs. 49% of parents say anyone can access their medicine cabinet. DISPOSE - Throw away expired medications. 17% of parents do not throw away expired medications. ENGAGE - Talk to your kids about the dangers of drug abuse. The last time teens and parents discussed substance abuse, only 16% discussed prescription pain relievers, and just 14% discussed any prescription abuse. LEARN - Understand the correct usage of prescription drugs. 26% of teens believe prescription drugs can be used as a study aid. 29% of parents believe ADHD medications improve test performance.

Upper Left Corner: 70% of parents are concerned about their teen's prescription drug abuse13

Upper Right Corner: 50% less likely to abuse prescription drugs when teens learn the risks of drugs from their parents14
 

References

  1. Rx drugs abuse is a significant health problem
    2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study. Released April 23, 2013
    http://www.drugfree.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PATS-2012-FULL-REPORT2.pdf (PDF, 1MB)
  2. ADHD STIMULANTS - can block small blood vessels
    Facts on stimulants. Accessed August 9, 2013.
    http://teens.drugabuse.gov/sites/default/files/peerx/pdf/PEERx_Toolkit_FactSheets_Stimulants.pdf (PDF, 528KB)
  3. OPIOID PAINKILLERS - similar effects to heroin
    DrugFacts: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications. Revised May 2013.
    National Institute on Drug Abuse website http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-over-counter-medications
  4. DEPRESSANTS - slows down brain activity
    Central Nervous System (CNS) Depressants Facts, Accessed August 9, 2013.
    http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/central-nervous-system-cns-depressants-facts
  5. Brand names of prescription drugs
    Facts on Drugs: Prescription Drugs. Accessed June 12, 2013.
    NIDA for Teens website http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-drugs
  6. Brand names of prescription drugs
    The Medicine Abuse Project. Accessed August 9, 2013
    Benzodiazepines http://medicineabuseproject.org/medicine
  7. Street names of prescription drugs (ADHD Stimulants, Opioid Painkillers, Depressants)
    Facts on Drugs: Prescription Drugs. Accessed June 12, 2013.
    NIDA for Teens website http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-drugs
  8. Street names of prescription drugs (Dextromethorphan)
    Dextromethorphan (DXM) Accessed June 12, 2013.
    The Medicine Abuse Project website  http://medicineabuseproject.org/medicine
  9. Physical Symptoms of Abuse (ADHD Stimulants, Opioid Painkillers, Depressants)
    The 11 Most Abused Prescription Drugs. Accessed June 12, 2013.
    The Medicine Abuse Project website http://medicineabuseproject.org/medicine
  10. Physical Symptoms of Abuse (Dextromethorphan)
    Signs and Symptoms of Dextromethorphan Abuse. Accessed June 12, 2013.
    Narconon International website http://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/dextromethorphan-signs-symptoms.html
  11. Where teens get Rx drugs (all statistics)
    2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study. Released April 23, 2013
    http://www.drugfree.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PATS-2012-FULL-REPORT2.pdf (PDF, 1MB)
  12. Prevention (all statistics)
    2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study. Released April 23, 2013
    http://www.drugfree.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PATS-2012-FULL-REPORT2.pdf (PDF, 1MB)
  13. 70% of parents concerned about their teen's prescription drug abuse
    2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study. Released April 23, 2013
    http://www.drugfree.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/PATS-2012-FULL-REPORT2.pdf (PDF, 1MB)
  14. Teens who learn about the risk of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use drugs
    Fact Sheet: Preventing Teen Prescription Medicine Abuse. Accessed June 12, 2013.
    The Partnership at Drugfree.org website http://medicineabuseproject.org/images/uploads/misc/fact_sheet.pdf (PDF, 106KB)

Related Publications

Publication Cover

Prescription Drug Abuse (Research Reports)

Published July 2001. Revised October 2011. Examines the non-medical use of prescription drugs—opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants—describing adverse health effects of their use and the prevention and treatment of addiction. En Español

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications (DrugFacts)

Published June 2009. Revised September 2014. Provides an overview of commonly abused over the counter (OTC) medications and  prescription drugs—opioids, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants—and explains how they affect the brain, treatments available, and reported use. En Español

Cough and Cold Medicine Abuse (DrugFacts)

Revised May 2014. Provides facts about the abuse of cough syrups and other cold medicines, including their effects on the brain and dangers of using these products to get high.

Nationwide Trends (DrugFacts)

Published April 2011. Revised January 2014. Examines nationwide trends in drug abuse and addiction among youth, describing lifetime, past year and past month use for alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription drugs. En Español

Stimulant ADHD Medications - Methylphenidate and Amphetamines (DrugFacts)

Published June 2009. Revised January 2014. Offers basic facts about stimulant ADHD medications—methylphenidate and amphetamines—including their role in the treatment of ADHD, their affect on the brain, and the extent of abuse. En Español

This page was last updated November 2013