Prescription drugs are being abused much more frequently now for two very simple reasons.
First of all, they are way more available than they were even a decade ago. Second of all, teenagers are much more aware of their presence then they were a decade ago, as well. It's important to note that there is very little subjective difference between taking a pharmaceutical drug than taking a street drug.
The pharmaceutical drug, Adderall, a stimulant, acts in the brain much like amphetamines do. The prescription opiates act very much like street opiates do, and they also act like street depressants do. It is very important when you talk about street drugs that you actually talk about them within the large context of the question: Why do kids do drugs anyway? Why is it that drugs are such an issue in our lives these days?
One of the things we want to talk about with pharmaceuticals, though, is that teenagers use them at a higher rate because they think they are safer. They think they are safer than street drugs. They are purer than street drugs are, but they are not in any way safer than street drugs are. Second, teenagers have said to us a number of times, "They are not addictive because they are medicine, and medicines are supposed to be helpful, not harmful."
This begs the one last point that we like to talk about when we bring up pharmaceuticals, control your medicine chest. If you have abusable drugs in your medicine chest, they need to come out. As a matter of fact, we went so far as to say in our second book; don't call it a medicine chest anymore, it's not. It's a drug addiction, overdose, and death locker.
Now when you look at the drugs in your medicine chest, you will look at it differently. That's the goal.