Called The Medicine Abuse Project, the campaign’s ultimate goal is to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine within five years. It kicks off during the week of September 23-29, 2012, with Phase 1 asking parent/grandparent, health care providers, communities & law enforcement, and educators to take the Pledge to raise awareness about the issue.
Prescription drug abuse has been regarded the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. In 2010, approximately 7 million individuals were current users of psychotherapeutic drugs taken nonmedically (2.7 percent of the U.S. population). Further statistics show that the number of people who are abusing prescription medicines surpassed the number of those who use cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin combined.
One of the factors that drive the surging prevalence of prescription drug abuse is people’s misperceptions about them. Because they are prescribed by doctors, users, particularly teenagers, think that these prescription medicines are safe to take under any circumstances.
But according to a new research released from The Partnership at Drugfree.org roughly one in five teens and parents say they know someone who has died due to medicine abuse. The research also reveals that the issue of teen medicine abuse is more widespread than parents think.
“Our new research reveals that Americans drastically underestimate the negative impact that the abuse of prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicine is having on teens today,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in a news release.
In light of this and the desire to address the alarmingly dangerous problem, The Medicine Abuse Project also aims to educate parents, teens and the public about the dangers of medicine abuse and unite parents, educators, health care providers, coaches, government officials, law enforcement officers and other partners to help save lives.