Helping Save Lives from Teen Medicine Abuse

Helping Save Lives from Teen Medicine Abuse

09.24.12 | By Kaelan Hollon

This is a guest post from Stephen J. Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. He leads an effective, research-based, national nonprofit whose mission is to help parents prevent, intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children.

Prescription medicine is now the most commonly abused drug among 12 to 13 year olds, and two-thirds of teens who abuse prescription pain relievers report getting them from family members or friends.

While dangerous prescription drugs are easier to come by today than ever before, it's just as easy for parents to overlook simple measures to keep teens from abusing medication. In response, The Partnership at Drugfree.org is launching The Medicine Abuse Project, a multi-year national effort aimed at preventing half a million teens from abusing medicine within five years. With more than 2,000 teens per day abusing prescription drugs for the first time, it has never been more important to educate parents and teens-with the help of adult mentors, government officials, and health care providers-about the dangers of medicine abuse.

So how can you get involved? We invite you to take the Pledge to learn about teen medicine abuse, to safeguard your medicines and to talk to the teens you know about this issue.

We are also kicking off a series of events September 23-29 that will support the goal of educating individuals about teen medicine abuse and sharing the stories of families affected by the issue. As the week culminates in the Drug Enforcement Administration-sponsored National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day - thousands of local take-back events taking place in communities across the nation - the campaign will also help facilitate the proper disposal of unused medications.

With prescription pain relievers now responsible for more overdose deaths than "street drugs" such as cocaine and heroin combined, your promise to help end medicine abuse is the simplest measure you can take toward ending abuse before it starts.


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