Teens becoming addicted to prescription drugs - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

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Teens becoming addicted to prescription drugs

According to government statistics, more high school students are abusing prescription drugs, and that's leading to more teen overdose deaths.

The vast majority of drug overdose deaths are the result of two types of highly addictive, and highly profitable, prescription drugs: opiates and Benzodiazapenes.

In 2009, there were more than 37,000 overdose deaths from prescription drugs. Most of those were from narcotic pain killers.

Jonathan Connell with Private Clinic Albany says, "People think they are not as bad for you as say cocaine or marijuana, but that it absolutely not true."

The CDC reports that high school students are more likely to die of a pill overdose than from a car accident or a gunshot wound, but teens these days seem to think prescription drugs aren't as dangerous.

"We got it out of our friend's parent's medicine cabinet, you know, it didn't seem like something that was dangerous. We weren't going to dealers, wasn't going downtown, wasn't dark alleys, you know, we avoided that completely. It was extremely readily available," says Chelsea Voite.

Voite was a normal teenager you might not suspect would be a drug addict.

"I was captain of a volleyball team, I made straight A's, I was extremely personable, my teachers all loved me, I had great relationships with my peers that I had had since kindergarten, you know I had best friends that I ultimately lost because of addiction," she says.

She started with Xanax, and then quickly progressed to Oxycodone.

"It completely consumed me with darkness and I didn't know a way out," said Voite.

But it wasn't until she almost died from shooting up heroine that her mother took her to GraceWay Recovery. She beat her addiction and urges every parent to pay attention to the red flags.

"It's easier not to think something is wrong, it's easier to pretend and today, image is so important to look like you have a picture perfect family when the reality is, no body does," says Voite.

Voite now works with recovering addicts and stresses there is help available for those needing a way out.

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