Painkiller abuse way up among American kids

October 17, 2012 2:27:55 PM PDT
Painkiller abuse among American youth is 40 percent higher than in previous generations. It is now the second most common type of illegal drug use after marijuana.

That's according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The study found there are more deaths due to accidental overdoses of prescription painkillers than due to overdoses of cocaine and heroin combined.

Authors of the study say the current generation's abuse of prescription pain medications, such as Vicodin, valium and Oxycontin, is higher than any generation ever measured.

They partly blame easy access to these drugs found in medicine cabinets.