The first drugs abused by teens often come from the family medicine cabinet, and a new Operation UNITE program is using statistics from a University of Kentucky research study to try to change that.
The study confirms that rural teens were 26 percent more likely to abuse prescription drugs than their urban peers. There were no differences between urban and rural rates for use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens.
Overall, 13 percent of rural youths said they used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons, compared with 10 percent of urban youths, the study found.
"We were excited when we heard about those numbers," said Karen Kelly, director of Operation UNITE, a non-profit that combats drug addiction in Eastern Kentucky. "A lot of times in small communities, people don't think there is anything to be concerned about."
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