Prescription Drug Abuse

Quick Facts:

  • 1 in 5 teens are abusing prescription drugs

  • 70% of prescription drugs are obtained form a friend or relative

  • Prescription drugs can be addictive and lethal when misused

  • 40% of teens believe prescription drugs are safer to abuse than illegal drugs

  • More than 20,000 New Yorkers are hospitalized each year due to poisoning and overdose

  • The most commonly abused prescription drugs include: Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Valium, Xanax, Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, and Dexedrine



What should you do if you see an overdose?


    • Say "I think someone may have overdosed. (S)he isn't breathing."

  • If the person is not breathing, do rescue breathing (mouth-to-mouth)

  • Give Narcan (the opiod overdose reversal drug) to the person if you have it

  • Lay the person on their side once they resume breathing

How do I recognize the signs of an overdose?

  • The person is unconscious and you can't wake them

  • Breathing slowly or not at all

  • Lips or nails are turning blue

New York's new "911 Good Samaritan" law provides protections from charge and prosecution for drug and alcohol possession for the victim and those who seek help during an overdose.

Take Action:


Prescription drugs are used for a variety of reasons (acceptance, curiosity, easy access, ect.).

If you suspect someone you know is abusing prescription drugs, TAKE ACTION!

  • Prepare Yourself

    • Work with what happened rather than why it happened. Don't blame yourself, someone else, or that person.

  • Confront the Issue

    • Don't let fear or anger overwhelm your effectiveness in dealing with the situation

  • Have a Converstation

    • Accept that the person may be using so you can begin the conversation

  • Set Standards

    • Take a stand. Say "NO" clearly and firmly.

  • Ask For Help

    • Seek assistance from a mental health or substance abuse counselor. School health professionals can help too!