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prescription drugs

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While prescription drug abuse and addiction can start with a legitimate prescription or self-medication, many South Coast college students end up in emergency rooms or treatment programs as the result of chasing a high.

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It was once perceived as a rite of passage of sorts, but adolescence and substance use are now considered a toxic combination. More and more research is revealing that choices made at an early age — generally in the early teenage years — can have lasting effects, few of them positive.

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Pharmacist Peter Caldwell jokes that his career path was set as an infant when his parents used a prescription cabinet for his bassinet.

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The baby boom culture. Longer, but not necessarily healthier lifestyles. A general lack of information and communication. Each of these elements plays a role in the growing phenomenon that is the misuse of prescription drugs by the elderly.

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Prescribing controlled substances is a highly regulated process, especially as abuse and addiction become more prevalent, but oversight is fractured between agencies with the burden falling on local health-care providers.

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This article was written by Noozhawk Intern Tim Fucci as part of Day 4 in Noozhawk’s 12-day, six-week special investigative series. Related links are below.

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Santa Barbara Teen News Network aims to provide “accessible and community-based performing arts programs, dedicated to developing passion, communication and performing arts leadership in the youth of (Santa Barbara)."

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As Santa Barbara County confronts a growing challenge from drug abuse, fatal overdoses from prescription medications are creeping ever higher, forcing authorities to revise the ways they track the trends.

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Looking back, Rich Detty can’t say for sure whether his son, Cliff, was addicted to prescription medications. The drug abuse question and the true condition of his son’s mental illness still haunt him.

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The nation’s largest — and latest — study of illicit drugs found an explosion of marijuana use among Americans age 12 or older in 2010. The National Survey on Drug Use & Health concluded that marijuana users are largely to blame for the continued increase in illegal drug use, which includes the nonmedical use of prescription medications.

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