Written By: Fiona Stockard
Over The Counter Drug Abuse Facts and Statistics
Over the counter drug abuse is a tried and true adolescent drug trend. For as long as there have been OTC medications, teenagers and young adults have been abusing them. What about over the counter drug abuse facts, though? Are all those nightly news reports true? For that matter, are over the counter drug abuse statistics accurate?
Learn the truth about over the counter drug abuse facts and statistics today!
Over The Counter Drug Abuse Facts
Find seven over the counter drug abuse facts below:
• Due to how easy it is to obtain OTC medications, adolescents and teenagers abuse them frequently.
• OTC medications containing DXM are the most commonly abused type of OTC drug.
• DXM is found in over one hundred OTC medications and belongs to the same family of drugs as Ketamine and PCP.
• Pseudoephedrine and diet pills are other commonly abused types of OTC medications.
• The exact number of diet pills is unknown, but it’s thought to be in the thousands.
• The FDA doesn’t regulate diet pills. So, diet pill companies can make outrageous claims about the effectiveness of their products. This also means that diet pills often contain unlisted ingredients.
• There are over a hundred medications which contain pseudoephedrine.
Over The Counter Drug Abuse Statistics
Find six over the counter drug abuse addiction statistics below:
• As of 2012, there were upwards of 300,000 OTC medications. However, only a small portion of these medications are abused.
• One in eight teenagers, or approximately 12%, admit to abusing OTC cough syrup.
• Between 1999 and 2004, there was a sevenfold increase in calls to poison control centers about DXM abuse. The majority of these calls involved fifteen and sixteen year olds.
• In 2006, it’s estimated over three million adolescents and young adults engaged in OTC cough and cold medicine abuse.
• In 2012, the University of Michigan’s Monitoring The Future survey found that 5.6% of seniors abused cough syrup products that year. This makes cough syrup the fifth most abused drug in 2012.
• In 2013, the University of Michigan’s Monitoring The Future survey found that almost 3% of high school seniors abused DXM. The survey also found that 4.3% of sophomores and 5% of eighth graders admitted to engaging in cough syrup abuse.
What Do These Over The Counter Drug Abuse Facts and Statistics Mean For You?
The above statistics and facts about over the counter drug abuse are alarming, to say the least. With hundreds of OTC medications containing psychoactive chemicals, there’s a seemingly never-ending supply of these drugs for young people to abuse. However, the situation isn’t bleak.
These facts about over the counter drug abuse also show that many parents are aware of the dangers OTC drugs present. Not to mention, certain OTC drug abuse is declining. There was a 2% drop in cough syrup abuse by high school seniors from 2012 to 2013. There’s hope!