2006 Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey conducted among the 8th-, 10th- and 12th-graders found that there is less use of illicit drugs, but that the use of prescription painkillers remains disturbingly high.

The survey was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse. The experts say that these results were more-less expected. They reported that kids have less needs to go out and procure illicit drugs as they can find prescription drugs at home that are being more and more prescribed to the parents.

The use of marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol has dropped and so called harder drugs, like heroin and ecstasy as well as sedatives/barbiturates and steroids are being perceived as harmful.

However, the use of painkillers Vicodin and OxyContin is pretty high among all three grades monitored.

The kids do not stop there but also use cold or cough medicines with the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (DXM) to get high.

Health experts are trying to raise the parents’ awareness that medicines prescribed to them and sitting around the house are a potential source for kids’ abuse.