Local Teens Searching For Dangerous New High

CANTON, Ohio - Some local teen-agers are searching for a new high, but finding it in a dangerous place -- the family medicine cabinet, 19/43 News' Denise Strzelczyk reported.

On the campus of Canton's GlenOak High School, a new enemy in the fight against drugs is showing its ugly head. This time, it's in the form of legal prescription drugs used illegally.

"It's all over the high school," student Brennan Hazel said. "Students just don't care anymore. They can get it from Rite Aid."

Two GlenOak students face criminal court charges on Wednesday after allegedly giving the antidepressant Elavil to five other students.

The problem, however, is not only at GlenOak. Teen prescription drug abuse is on the rise in the state of Ohio.

Hazel said that it's not that difficult for students acquire prescription medication.

"You get the prescriptions from your parents or something like that," he said. "You forge letters."

What's even more alarming is the fact that some teens said that they trade pills without knowing what they are taking or what the effects of mixing the two medications might be.

Teen drug counselor Christopher Hewitt, of Quest Recovery Services, said that the key to prescription drug abuse is access.

"Availability probably more than anything is the problem," Hewitt said. "They probably have very little idea what the effect is, if any, but they are available."

Counselors said that many teens are high on the idea of experimenting with the unknown -- an unknown that could have deadly results. Here are the recommendations that they make for parents who might be concerned about teens and prescription drugs:

Lock up your medicines.

Count your pills, so you'll know immediately if some are missing.

Throw out any extra or unused pills.

Talk to your kids. The best way to protect them is to know what's going on in their lives.