Abusable prescription drugs easy to find for young people, survey finds

Massachusetts survey finds parents sometimes give their prescription meds to kids

BOSTON — More than half of parents in Massachusetts said their children have access to prescription drugs that could be abused, according to a new survey.

Results of the survey of 300 parents with children ages 12 to 25 years, released Wednesday by The Partnership at Drugfree.org during a briefing at the Massachusetts State House, indicated that 56% of parents said their kids had access to their drugs, while 14% had given their children prescription pain medicines for which the children did not have prescriptions. More people in Massachusetts die each year from fatal drug overdoses than from car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while according to the state's public health department, an average of 12 residents each week die from opioid overdoses.

"The survey findings are alarming and indicate that parents are often providing prescription drugs to their kids in an improper and dangerous manner," Partnership at Drugfree.org president and CEO Steve Pasierb said. "Add to that their acknowledgement that their children have ready access to potentially dangerous pain relievers, and we have a high-risk situation in homes across the commonwealth."

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