Partnership at Drugfree.org set to launch program to prevent Rx drug abuse in teens

September 21, 2012

The Partnership at Drugfree.org is launching a new program Sept. 23 aimed at preventing 500,000 teens from abusing medication within the next five years.

The Partnership at Drugfree.org is launching a new program Sept. 23 aimed at preventing 500,000 teens from abusing medication within the next five years.

The Medicine Abuse Project asks the public- especially pharmacists and healthcare providers- to take a pledge on the project's website to safeguard medications and educate children and teens about the risks of prescription drug abuse. More than 1,600 people have taken the pledge so far.

"The Medicine Abuse Project will both encourage and help parents and the public-at-large to take action: first, by talking with the kids in their lives about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter cough medicines, and second, by safeguarding and properly disposing of unused medications," according to a DrugFree.org press release.

The campaign’s launch week will end Sept. 29, which is also National Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration."The project is intended to bring urgency and action to address this critical health crisis, while also giving voice to those families who have been so terribly affected," said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. "We can and will have a lasting impact if we all work together to end medicine abuse."According to the project’s website, one in six teens has used a prescription drug to get high or alter his or her mood.

"Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic and young people are particularly at risk," said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy. "Research has shown that more than 70% of Americans who misuse painkillers obtain the medicine from friends, relatives, or in the home – which is why it's so important to educate America's teens about the harmful consequences of prescription drug abuse before it starts."

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