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It found that while fewer teens overall drank alcohol or used illegal drugs in the last year, a small but growing number were popping prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin and stimulants like Ritalin

The annual study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, conducted by the University of Michigan, showed mixed results in the nation’s longtime campaign against teen drug abuse.

It found that while fewer teens overall drank alcohol or used illegal drugs in the last year, a small but growing number were popping prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin and stimulants like Ritalin.

As many as one in every 14 high school seniors said they used cold medicine «fairly recently» to get high, the study found.

It was the first year that the government tracked the frequency of teens who reported getting high from over-the-counter medicine for coughs and colds.

«It’s bad that kids are buying cough syrup and using it this way — it’s not good for them,» said John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The study found about one in 10 high school seniors have abused the painkiller Vicodin, and Walters said kids may be pilfering the pills from their parents’ medicine cabinets.

«That is one thing you can do — take the pills that are no longer being used and throw them away, get rid of them,» he said in an interview.

Walters credited public service advertising with a steady decrease in overall teen drug use over the past five years. He said the agency would shift some of its 2007 advertising budget toward combating prescription drug abuse.

He challenged the recommendations of an August government audit that said the anti-drug advertising campaign wasn’t working and suggested Congress consider reducing its funding. The report by the Government Accountability Office found some children were actually more likely to use marijuana after seeing the ads.

«We’re pushing back,» Walters told reporters Thursday as he outlined the study results. «What this shows is we’re pushing back successfully.»

The rise in prescription drug abuse was a troubling conclusion in a study that Walters described as good news overall because of the drop in teen use of alcohol, cigarettes, 하남출장안마 marijuana and other illicit substances.

An estimated 840,000 fewer teens reported using illegal drugs now compared to five years ago, he said.

The annual study, in its 32nd year, surveyed 50,000 students in the 8th, 10th and 12th grades at more than 400 schools nationwide. It found, that over the last year:

Illegal drug use at all three grade levels dropped, if only slightly. An estimated 36.5 percent of high school seniors reported using illicit drugs at some point in the year.

Marijuana remained the single most abused drug among teens, although its use also dropped slightly within all three grades. Nearly 12 percent of 8th graders reported using it, compared to 25 percent of 10th graders and 31 percent of high school seniors.

One-third of 8th graders said they had consumed alcoholic beverages, compared to more than a half of 10th graders and two-thirds of seniors surveyed. That also was a small decrease among the three grade levels. But the number of 10th and 12th graders who reported getting drunk increased slightly.

Comparatively, the number of teens who got high from medicines and households items instead of illegal drugs was small. They included:

That teens are turning to cough syrup to get high is particularly alarming, experts said, because the medicine is cheap and easy to get. Moreover, few people — teens and their parents alike — recognize the dangers of overdosing on the otherwise safe and legal drugs.

«There is this mistaken belief that intentionally abusing prescription and over-the-counter drugs is somehow safer than abusing street drugs,» said Steve Pasierb, president and chief executive of the New York-based Partnership for a Drug Free America. «What parents don’t realize is that this is about your kids taking six pills with a beer.»

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Homemade Bombs Kill 3 U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

No other details about the attacks on the U.S. troops were given by NATO and the identities of those killed were not immediately released.

A total of 55 foreign troops have been killed in Afghanistan this month, including 35 Americans, according to a count by The Associated Press. July was the deadliest month for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion, with 66 killed.

Afghanistan: The Road Ahead

U.S. troops make up about 100,000 of the 120,000-strong foreign military contingent in Afghanistan, most in the south and east where the Taliban is most deeply entrenched.

Meanwhile, a police official said three Afghan policemen and two civilians were killed and 15 civilians wounded in Thursday evening’s bombing in Kunduz province’s Archi town. The blast went off as residents shopped for food in anticipation of the breaking of the dawn-to-dusk fast observed during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but deputy provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Aqtash said civilians appeared to be the target.

«This was a cruel act of the enemy. There was nothing to link these people to the coalition or to politics,» Aqtash said.

Kunduz, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, has not traditionally been a Taliban stronghold. However, insurgents have steadily built their presence there since 2007, mostly among ethnic Pashtuns who are a minority in the area. Attacks on a key coalition supply line running south from Tajikistan are a constant menace, along with ambushes of German forces who help provide security.

In establishing a northern foothold, Afghan authorities believe the Taliban use veterans from southern battlefields to help organize local groups, sometimes with help from the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which provides recruits from among the Uzbek minority.

«The situation is very bad and dangerous in Kunduz but unfortunately the security officials keep saying things are all right,» Mabubullah Mabub, chairman of the Kunduz provincial council, told AP Thursday. «Over the last two years, the situation has been getting worse.»

Farther east in Badakhshan province, 영광출장안마 Afghan army commandos aided by U.S. special forces discovered a major weapons cache in the remote village of Nawci on Wednesday, NATO reported. It said weapons found included 78 rockets with launchers, 47 mortar rounds, more than 9,000 rounds of ammunition, and 24 rocket-propelled grenades. All were destroyed.

The town is believed to be a safe haven for Taliban fighters and drug smugglers, as well as a conduit for foreign fighters arriving from neighboring Pakistan, NATO said.

Meanwhile, Afghan, French and U.S. troops wrapped up a weeklong offensive against insurgents in the Uzbeen valley northeast of Kabul, NATO said. Backed by air power, the combined force killed about 40 Taliban fighters and captured several key Taliban operatives, it said.

Another three insurgents were killed and three detained in eastern Paktiya province by Afghan and coalition forces pursuing a Taliban sub-commander — part of an expanding number of operations targeting the insurgents’ leadership.

While the Taliban sub-commander was not captured, the coalition claimed to have nabbed two key operatives with the Haqqani network, an Islamist militant group with deep links to al Qaeda. NATO also said its forces in Kunduz were chasing a militant affiliated with a number of groups including al Qaeda, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Taliban.

NATO said the militant was recently forced to leave a safe haven in Pakistan and moved across the border accompanied by several al Qaeda members.

Afghanistan routinely complains that Pakistan hasn’t done enough to drive out extremists and President Hamid Karzai on Thursday told a visiting U.S. Congressional delegation the fight against terrorism cannot succeed as long as the Taliban and their allies maintain sanctuaries in Pakistan.

A statement by Karzai’s office said the Afghan leader told the U.S. delegation that significant progress had been made in rebuilding the country after decades of war. But he said the campaign against the Taliban and al Qaeda had faltered because of ongoing civilian casualties during NATO military operations and a lack of focus on «destroying the terrorists’ refuge» across the border.

Karzai also said President Barack Obama’s announcement that he would begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan in July 2011 has given «the enemy a morale boost» because they believe they can simply hold out until the Americans leave.

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