Rural Teens Likely to Use Prescription Drugs More


Teens living in a rural environment more like to use prescription drugs than those in the city:

"Contrary to what the pill-popping kids on Gossip Girl would have you believe, city-dwelling teenagers are actually significantly less likely than their rural counterparts to use prescription drugs such as painkillers and tranquilizers for non-medical reasons.

Researchers from the University of Kentucky surveyed 17,872 teens aged 12 to 17; about half of the kids lived in an urban setting and 17% lived in rural environs. The study found that 10% of city teens said they had experimented with prescription drugs they didn't need, and 13% of rural kids reported doing the same — overall, that amounts to a 26% increase in risk in rural areas. (More on Addiction Files: Recovering From Drug Addiction, Without Abstinence)

When it came to illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana, however, geography mattered less: all teens reported experimenting with these drugs at about the same rate. The researchers suggest that kids' drug-taking behavior may more to do with access than attitude. Urban adolescents are more likely to be able to acquire a wide variety of drugs, but rural teens are more often forced to source what's around them — typically that means leftovers in Mom and Dad's medicine cabinet."

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