Teens who have been prescribed anti-anxiety or sleep medications may be 12 times more likely to abuse those drugs than teens who have never received a prescription, finds a research conducted at the University of Michigan.
Looking at data over three years from more than 2,700 high school and middle school students, researchers found that almost 9 percent of the students had been prescribed a potentially addictive benzodiazepine for treating anxiety or sleep problems at some time in their lives.
Just over 3 percent of students had a current prescription during the study, and those students were 10 times more likely than students who never had a prescription to obtain anti-anxiety or sleep medications for nonmedical reasons, such as experimenting or getting high.
Students who were prescribed anti-anxiety medications before the three-year study but no longer had a prescription were 12 times more likely to use someone else’s anti-anxiety medication than students who had never received a prescription.
Researchers also found that white students were twice as likely as black students to use the medications without a prescription.
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