How do young people get access to prescription opioids?
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Most young people report that they access opioids from home. Specifically, in the OSDUHS survey, 59% of students who indicated they had misused prescription opioids said they took them from a parent, sibling, or someone else they live with. Even if this is a prescription form of the drug, it is meant for the patient and no one else. This is misuse of the drug, and can still result in dangerous outcomes.
Another way youth get access to opioids is from friends or street sources. This may include purchasing someone else’s prescription pills, or purchasing a substance that has been made illegally. In these cases, they cannot be sure what they are taking, and that it could contain fentanyl or carfentanil. These dangerous substances are often found in fake prescription pain medication or other drugs.
Note: Unused prescriptions should always be returned to a pharmacy for safe disposal.