Teen OxyContin Abuse and Statistics Information
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Teen OxyContin Abuse

Teen OxyContin abuse National studies and published reports indicate that the teen abuse of OxyContin is a growing concern in the United States. In fact, more young people ages 12-17 abuse prescription drugs than any illicit drug except marijuana—more than cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined. The majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs such as OxyContin get them easily and for free, primarily from friends and relatives.

Teen OxyContin Statistics

  • The prescription drugs most commonly abused by teens are painkillers, powerful narcotics such as OxyContin prescribed to treat pain.
  • Pain relievers like Vicodin and OxyContin are the prescription drugs most commonly abused by teens. (NSDUH, 2007)
  • Among 12th graders, past-year abuse of OxyContin increased 30 percent between 2002 through 2007. (MTF, 2007)
  • In 2006, more than 2.1 million teens abused prescription drugs such as OxyContin. (NSDUH, 2007)
  • Every day, 2,500 youth (12-17) abuse a prescription pain reliever for the very first time. (SAMHSA, 2007a)
  • One-third of all new abusers of prescription drugs in 2006 were 12- to 17-year-olds. (NSDUH, 2007)
  • Three percent of teens (12-17) reported current abuse of prescription drugs in 2006(NSDUH, 2007)
  • Prescription drugs are the drug of choice among 12- to 13-year-olds. (NSDUH, 2007)
  • Sixty percent of teens (12-17) who have abused prescription painkillers first tried them before age 15. (Wu, Pilowsky & Patkar, 2007)
  • Among teens who have abused painkillers, nearly one-fifth (18%) used them at least weekly in the past year. (Wu, Pilowsky & Patkar, 2007)
Monitoring the Future (MTF) Survey
Each year, the Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey assesses the extent of teen drug use among 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders nationwide. Nonmedical use of any prescription drug is reported only for 12th-graders, and in 2008, 15.4 percent reported past-year use. Prescription and OTC medications were the most commonly abused drugs by teen high school students after marijuana. In addition, they represent 6 of the top 10 illicit drugs reported by 12th-graders.
Rate of Past-Year Teen OxyContin Use in 2008
Drug Name  8th-Grade  10th-Grade  12th-Grade
Vicodin 2.9% 6.7% 9.7%
OxyContin 2.1% 3.6% 4.7%

Teen OxyContin Abuse and Statistics Information
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