In addition, more than 5 percent of 10th and 12th graders who did not have ADHD said that they had used the stimulant Adderall to get high in the past year.
Teens said they got prescription drugs from doctors (19 percent) and from dealers (8 percent), but most (66 percent) said they got the drugs from friends or relatives. Among this latter group, 12 percent said they "took" them, 21 percent bought them and 33 percent said someone gave them the drugs.
The report also examined adolescents' attitudes about alcohol use and found that it had softened. For example, fewer 10th graders said they considered weekend binge drinking as a problem, and more high school seniors said that having a drink or two a day was OK.
Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, said that "the history of drug use and the fight against it reminds one of the mythical, many-headed Hydra: In the place of every head cut off, two more grow."
The report shows progress against teen use of stimulants, including cocaine, and hallucinogens and is encouraging for showing historically low use of tobacco and marijuana, Katz said, adding, though, that plateaus could be an early hint of trouble to come.
"This Hydra's new head is prescription drug abuse, which is on the rise," Katz said. "We will need all of the means at our disposal -- including education, vigilance, regulation, treatment and interdiction -- to preserve the gains seen here while combating the new ways this monster always seems to find to harm our kids."
The Nemours Foundation has information on talking to kids about drugs.
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