DUI (Prescription Pills) and Teens

Earlier this year, the homecoming queen in Centerville, Virginia died after taking a mix of prescription drugs and alcohol while at a house party. The prescription drugs were alleged to have been provided to the teen by a former student in the high school who distributed prescription drugs to students and continued the practice when he graduated and left for college.
The teen returned to her home after the party and went to sleep. She was found dead the following morning. The Virginia medical examiner ruled that the homecoming queen died from a combination of morphine, Xanax, oxycodone and alcohol in her bloodstream.

DWI Alcohol, Drugs, and Prescription Drugs in Texas

It is well known that Texas has a zero tolerance policy with respect to underage drinking and illegal drug and prescription drug use while driving. The penalties for the offending teens are stiff.

In 2012, 4.8% of high-school seniors reported using a prescription drug non-medically in the past year. Stimulants are the most commonly abused prescription drugs with 7.6% of respondents indicating non-medical Adderall use and 2.6% of respondents indicating non-medical Ritalin use. Vicodin exhibited a similar rate of use at 7.5%. Non-medical use of cough medicine was reported by 5.6% of respondents, and tranquilizer use was reported by 5.3% of respondents. Sedative use was reported by 4.5% of respondents, and non-medical OxyContin use was reported by 4.3% of respondents. Source: Texas State Texas School Safety Center.

Teens and Prescription Drug Abuse

Here are some facts and figures disseminated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) regarding teens and prescription drug abuse.

  • Prescription drugs are abused substances.
  • The third leading substance abused by teens 14 and over are prescription drugs. Marijuana and alcohol abuse occupy the first two spots.
  • Teens mistakenly believe that because the prescribed drugs are legal, their use and abuse is legal. A prescription is an authorization from a doctor for a patient to receive medicine or a medical treatment. The only legal use for a prescription drug is when the prescription is made out to you and dosing is followed in accordance with the doctor’s indications. Sharing pills, even if it is for a medicine the teen has a prescription for, is illegal.
  • Boys tend to abuse prescription drugs for the sensation of being or feeling high, while girls commonly abuse prescription drugs to stay awake while studying or to lose weight.

Prescribed drugs fall into one of three categories:

  • Opioids are prescribed to reduce pain (i.e. morphine, oxycodone or Percocet)
  • Stimulants promote enhanced alertness, wakefulness and movement (i.e. Adderall, Nicotine, Caffeine, methamphetamines, or amphetamines)
  • Depressants regulate moods (Xanax, Klonopin, barbiturates or benzos)

DWI Defense in Texas from an Experienced and Trusted DWI Lawyer

Plano and Denton Texas DWI Defense lawyer Kimberly Griffin Tucker represents people in criminal DWI proceedings as well as the corresponding civil administrative ALR hearings following driver’s license suspensions. From the charge to arraignment, sentencing through nondisclosure and expungement, Kimberly Griffin Tucker handles the full spectrum of DWI cases in Denton, Collins, and Dallas Counties to help you resolve your DWI arrest as quickly as possible. Contact Kimberly Griffin Tucker to schedule your free case evaluation.

(image courtesy of Jane M Sawyer)