How many teens use prescription opioids?

Misuse of prescription opioid medications among teens has dropped significantly since 2002, when it was first measured. In fact, past-year misuse of Vicodin® and OxyContin® among 12th graders is at a record low, dropping from 9.6 percent in 2002 to 1.1 percent in 2019 for Vicodin®, and from 4 percent in 2002 to 1.7 percent in 2019 for OxyContin®.

Monitoring the Future 2019: Tobacco and Nicotine: Prescription Drug Misuse Continues Decline from Peak Years: Vicodin and OxyContin

The chart below shows the latest percentage of teens who misuse prescription opioid pain medicines.

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Monitoring the Future Study: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs for 8th Graders, 10th Graders, and 12th Graders; 2019 (in percent)*
Drug Time Period 8th Graders 10th Graders 12th Graders
Vicodin Past Year 0.90 1.10 [1.10]
OxyContin Past Year 1.20 2.00 1.70

* Data in brackets indicate statistically significant change from the previous year.