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Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs account for the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs. Prescription drug abuse poses a unique challenge because of the need to balance prevention, education, and enforcement, with the need for legitimate access to controlled substance prescription drugs. More

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Common street terms for various prescription drugs include:

  • Depressants; methaqualone, Street Term: Ludes
  • OxyContin, Street Term: Hillbilly heroin
  • Ritalin (methylphenidate), Street Term: Vitamin R
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Policy Focus

  • View a clip (Quicktime, 55 sec.) demonstrating one way to properly dispose of prescription drugs.
  • What Works: Effective Public Health Responses to Drug Use: This booklet highlights several of the cost-effective, research-tested demand reduction initiatives that have proven successful in the United States and could be helpful to countries around the world in addressing their own drug abuse challenges.

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