Combating Teen Prescription Drug Abuse
Major Federal Initiative Launched
The White House Office of National
Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) recently
launched its first major Federal effort
to educate parents about teen prescription
Millions of television viewers watched
the advertising kickoff of this national
public awareness campaign during the
Super Bowl on January 24.
The effort includes broadcast, print,
and online advertising, community
outreach, and new print and online
Though overall teen drug use is down
nationwide, more teens abuse prescription
drugs than any other illicit drug,
except marijuana—more than cocaine,
heroin, and methamphetamine combined.
Every day, 2,500 kids age 12 to 17
abuse a prescription painkiller for
the first time, and more people are
getting addicted to prescription drugs.
Drug treatment admissions for prescription
painkillers increased more than 300
percent from 1995 to 2005.
Teens are abusing prescription drugs
because many believe the myth that
these drugs provide a “safe” high.
Especially troubling is that the majority
of teens who abuse prescription drugs
say they are easy to get and are often
For the full ONDCP press release,
for Danger: A Report on the Troubling
Trend of Prescription and Over-the-Counter
Drug Abuse among the Nation’s
Teens is available online at http://theantidrug.com/pdfs/prescription_report.pdf.
For related SAMHSA efforts, see SAMHSA
News online, November/December
and for more information about youth
and substance abuse, visit SAMHSA’s
Web site at www.samhsa.gov.
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