Teens Report Easy Access to Prescription Medications
An increasing number of teens say they have an easier time obtaining prescription medications illegally than buying beer, cigarettes, or marijuana, the Washington Post reports. About 19 percent of teens said buying prescription drugs is easier than buying the other three items; that figure was 13 percent last year. Additionally, approximately 34 percent of teens who reported abusing prescription medications such as Vicodin and OxyContin said they got the drugs at home or from their parents, the Post reports. The study included 1,002 people ages 12 to 17.
Earlier this month, Lindsay Lyon described five ways teens might cheat on drug tests—and offered advice on catching them. Previously, U.S. News described how to protect your kids from substance abuse and discussed the types of questions teens pose about peer pressure and drugs. In April, Sarah Baldauf offered six questions that adolescents have about alcohol and some answers from experts.
Medicare Drug Plan Premiums Set to Increase
Medicare beneficiaries will see their drug plan's average monthly premium increase to an estimated $28 next year, an increase of $3 from the current premium, Medicare officials said yesterday. The new premium is 37 percent lower than was originally projected when Medicare Part D drug coverage was introduced in 2003. The premium increase is the result of several factors, including rising costs of prescription drugs and the expiration of a demonstration project that resulted in premiums being 50 cents less in 2008 than had been projected. There are currently 24.4 million enrollees in the Medicare Part D drug plan.
In July, U.S. News pointed out some little-noticed good news in the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 that became law with Congress's override of President Bush's veto.
Healthy Sex as You Age
A healthy sex life can extend well into your 70s and 80s, new research suggests. About 68 percent of men between 57 and 85 reported having sex last year, as did 42 percent of women. And, the study authors said, more older women might have been interested in having sex, but there aren't as many available older men for them to partner with. Researchers surveyed 1,550 women and 1,455 men ages 57 to 85. The results were published in the current issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
U.S.News's Adam Voiland lists nine notable findings from the survey that apply to men.
Men and Car Accidents
For all except the oldest men, motor vehicles accidents are the leading cause of accidental death. Two recent celebrity examples illustrate the danger of car accidents: Morgan Freeman, star of The Dark Knight,
was released from the hospital recently after undergoing surgery to treat serious injuries he sustained in a crash. Freeman, who was reportedly wearing his seat belt and was sober at the time of the wreck, was fortunate. Andrea Pininfarina, a famed Italian car designer, was not so lucky. He died last week in Turin when the Vespa scooter he was driving struck a car that hadn't stopped at an intersection. Adam Voiland lists five facts you might not know about men and traffic accidents. Also, learn how to prepare your mind and body to return to driving after a car accident.
—January W. Payne