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Teen girls abuse more drugs

Teenage girls in the United States are more likely than teenage boys to abuse prescription drugs, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Officials said Monday that nearly one in 10 teenage girls used a prescription drug, such as tranquilizers or antidepressants, to get high at least once in the past year, compared with one out of 13 teenage boys, the Associated Press reported.

Females account for 55 percent of emergency room visits involving prescription drugs, but only 35 percent of ER visits involving illicit drugs.

When it comes to the use of illicit drugs, males have much higher rates than females. Unique pressures faced by girls may explain why they're more likely than boys to abuse prescription drugs, federal officials said.

They noted that women abuse drugs and alcohol to boost their confidence, lose weight, or reduce tension, while men do so for the sensation, the AP reported.
(HealthDayNews, May 2007)