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This campaign is to raise the awareness of the risks of prescription painkiller abuse among New Mexico teens. New Mexico ranks third-highest in the nation for teen non-medical use of pain relievers.

What Parents Need to Know:

  • Misconceptions
    • More people overdose from prescription painkillers than cocaine and heroin combined
    • Many kids believe prescription drugs are safer to abuse than illegal street drugs
    • Kids believe prescription medicine is less addictive than illegal drugs
  • Talk to your kids
    • Only one-third of parents discuss prescription drug abuse with their child
    • Teens as young as 12 are abusing prescription painkillers
  • Legal prescription pain medications kids abuse
    • One in six teens abuse either codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl or morphine

Learn the Prescription Drug Use Facts:

New Mexico Prevention

  • 2,500 teens between ages 12 – 17 begin abusing drugs each day (2013)
  • 90 percent of addictions start in the teen years
  • 49 percent of unintentional deaths from drugs were prescription opioids versus nine percent from methamphetamine (2014)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

  • Prescription and drug misuse and abuse
    • Prescription drugs are misused and abused more often than any other drug besides alcohol and marijuana
  • Specific populations
    • Youth and young adults
      • Youth ages 12 – 17 or young adults ages 18 – 25 are more likely to misuse prescription drugs than adults 26 years or over (2014)

New Mexico Youth Risk & Resiliency Survey

  • Bernalillo County: middle schools (6 – 8 grade) 2013
    • 4.6 percent of eighth grade students have used drugs to get high (pg. 34)
    • 10.7 percent of eighth grade students took prescription drugs without a prescription (pg. 34)
    • In 2013, 6.3 percent of middle school students have used prescription drugs improperly (pg. 33)
  • Bernalillo County: high schools (9-12 grade) 2013
    • 10 percent of high school students used painkillers to get high - higher than the New Mexico average which is 8.5 percent
    • 9.2 percent of freshmen, 7.6 percent of sophomores, 14 percent of juniors and 8.8 percent of seniors have used painkillers to get high
    • 15.2 percent of freshmen, 19.7 percent of sophomores, 23.9 percent of juniors and 22.6 percent of seniors have used prescription drugs improperly
    • More than 50 percent of students grades 9 – 12 knew of an adult who has used drugs
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