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Half of Arrested Kids Using Drugs

Audio

Aired 8/17/09

An annual study of drug use among juveniles arrested in the San Diego region found half tested positive for drugs. And researchers discovered many were abusing prescription medication.

— An annual study of drug use among juveniles arrested in the San Diego region found half tested positive for drugs. And researchers discovered many were abusing prescription medication.

The San Diego Association of Governments conducts the study every year. Sandy Keaton is a senior research analyst with SANDAG. She says in 2008, 50 percent of the kids tested positive for drugs which she says is in the normal range compared to past years. But she says she was surprised to see how common prescription drug use was.

“It was amazing that prescription drug use came up as the third most commonly reported illicit drug use behind ecstasy and marijuana,” she says.

This was the first year researchers asked about prescription medications. Keaton says nationally about 12 percent of kids report using those kinds of drugs versus 25 percent in the SANDAG study. But she says the study involves high risk children which could explain the higher percentage.

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