Where Do Teens Find Prescription Drugs?

55% of teens who abuse prescription painkillers say they get them from home.*


*Source: OSDUHS 2017
The family medicine cabinet and friends are the major sources of prescription drugs taken recreationally.

About 61% of teens say that prescription drugs are fairly or very easy to get.
Source: OSDUHS 2017

Other teens may abuse their own prescription medicine. Unfortunately, teens are also getting pills from the street, many of which are produced illicitly and without proper controls.

Over the counter medications:

About 1 in 10 (9.2%) students report using an OTC cough/cold medication to get high at least once in the past year, representing 83,300 high school students.
Source: OSDUHS 2017 

In many parts of the country, teens can easily buy OTC cough and cold remedies at any supermarket, drugstore, or convenience store where these products are sold. They can also get them from home, or order them online, where they can find information and videos on what drugs to try and mix together.

Where should you look to make sure prescription drugs are not readily available?

At Home: A teen may scout his own home first if he's looking to get high from prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

With Relatives: Grandparents may be another source of prescription drugs for teens.

With Friends: Talk with the parents of your teen's friends your teen has about safeguarding medications.