Ohio is struggling with a severe prescription drug abuse epidemic, according to a story in The New York Times. In the last decade, fatal overdoses surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the state. Most popular among drug addicts is the painkiller OxyContin. Read more about the devastating effects of prescription drugs and OxyContin abuse in Prescribed Addiction, the first in our ongoing series, Journeys.
Teens living in rural areas are more likely than teens in urban areas to abuse prescription drugs, according to a national survey. Nearly 18,000 young people were studied in the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The Survey found that 13 percent of rural teens reported using drugs in a nonmedical way at some point in their lives. Only 11.5 percent of teens in the suburbs and 10.3 percent in cities reported using drugs non-medically. Race and ethnicity did not appear to be significant factors in this study. Teens mostly used tranquilizers such as diazepam and opioid painkillers, according to the Archives of Pediatrics and Medicine.