Getting high can be as easy as opening up the medicine cabinet.

For the first time, teens say it's easier to get prescription drugs than beer, according to a new study released this month by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Why? Because these drugs are so easy to get.

A new study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse finds that teens can get their hands on prescription drugs more rapidly and easier this year than last.

"If it's in the household--whether it be their prescription or their parents' prescription, a brother or sister's prescription--if they have access to it and availability, they're going to abuse," states Catherine Warren of Great Lakes Recovery Center.

One in five teens say they've abused prescription drugs at least once, according to the results of the study.

At Great Lakes Recovery Center in Marquette from January to date, 84 people have sought help for prescription drug abuse, which Warren says is a lot.

"Once again, those numbers only reflect those who came in and said, 'I have a problem with addiction to prescription medication,'" says Warren. "That doesn't include those who actually have an addiction to prescription medication and won't say that they have it."

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse cites parental negligence as key to the increase in teen access to drugs.

Warren says hydrocodones are what they see their clients abusing the most; but they also see benzodiazepine, like Xanax and Ativan as well as Ritalin.

"It's a little shocking to see folks using medication in this way," comments Jim Harrington of Marquette County Health Department. "It really comes down to having parents and the community involved to recognize that it's an issue and that we can reduce access to these products."

For a list of ways to help prevent prescription drug abuse from happening in your own home, the Marquette County Health Department has provided some ideas. If you know of someone in need of assistance with an abuse problem, you can call the Great Lakes Recovery Centers at 1-888-457-2732.

  • Drug Facts
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  • Crystal meth effects are similar to those of cocaine but with more power and intensity.
  • Heroin effects many parts of the human body, including blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidneys and brain.