Athletes Accused of Painkiller Abuse

PAYSON, Utah?Payson High School officials have suspended nine athletes, including four members of the baseball team, for allegedly abusing painkillers.

Three other Utah County high schools have reported problems with students found taking or distributing painkillers such as Percocet, Lortab or Vicodin.

The nine Payson students have been suspended for three months. They were referred to alternative or home schooling.

At least two other athletes were suspended for a shorter period, Principal Kay Smith said Monday.

School officials say teens use the prescription drugs for the same reason they binge on alcohol or take Ecstasy or heroin: They are looking for an escape.