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7 Legal Drugs Abused by Teens

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 7 out of the top 10 drugs abused in America are legal. They include prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and herbal drugs. Almost 3% of kids ages 12 to 17 admit to abusing a prescription drug in the past month, and 12% of teens admit to abusing OTC cough and cold medicines. To keep teens safe, learn about eight of the most commonly abused drugs by teens in America.


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Medically Reviewed By: Bass III, Pat F., MD, MPH

Last Annual Review Date: June 28, 2013

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Did You Know?

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In 2011, 2.7% of 8th graders reported having used over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to get high. For 10th and 12th graders, the number was higher – more than 5%.