The teenagers have now shifted their preference toward nonmedical use of prescription drugs which they say are easier to get hold of than street drugs. Data from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reveal that physicians are too lax in prescribing controlled drugs.
According to Friedman, teenagers said that they use illicit drugs only for recreation while prescription drugs are for “practical” effects such as stimulants or tranquilizers. Teenagers perceive prescription drugs as safer than street drugs; thus, justifying their attitude that occasional use of such drugs poses little risk. He stated further that the use of street drugs have declined because of its perceived risk and the disapproval of the society on such drugs, whereas prescription drugs have gained peer approval.
Friedman explained the growing confidence in the safety of prescription drugs may be attributed to the media mileage and the increase in internet advertisements of these prescription drugs.