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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
November/December 2009, Volume 17, Number 6 

“Teen Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

Can you help stop teens from misusing prescription medications? Every day, teens come into contact with dozens of adults—from parents, grandparents, and other relatives to teachers, coaches, and doctors—who can have a positive influence on their lives.

Many people may want to help but aren’t sure where to start. SAMHSA, in conjunction with the National Council on Patient Information and Education, recently launched a new campaign entitled Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer: What You Can Do to Help Prevent Teen Prescription Drug Abuse.

image of brochures for teen influencer campaign

The campaign includes an online toolkit for presenting a training workshop. Materials include a presenter’s guide, real-life scenarios, warning signs and symptoms, common myths about teen prescription drug abuse, brochures, and handouts tailored to specific audiences (e.g., parents, educators, doctors).

“These tools are essential for engaging youth and the adults who come in contact with them through a solid message that prescription drug misuse is dangerous and can be fatal,” said H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

“What’s the Big Deal?”

Although the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs among youth has declined from 2002 through 2008, many teens have turned to misusing prescription drugs, according to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In fact, approximately 2.8 million teens have abused prescription drugs.

One of the campaign’s real-life scenarios involves a teen asking what is so bad about prescription drug abuse, noting that the medications are legal and available from any pharmacy. The materials give advice on how to answer questions like these, while conveying that prescription medications can be dangerous and even deadly when not taken under a doctor’s supervision.

The materials also help adults to understand why teens might start abusing prescription medications. According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, dealing with pressures and school-related stress is cited as the number-one reason teens misuse prescription drugs.

Online Toolkit

The campaign’s comprehensive online resources include a complete workshop module, which can be completed in 1 hour or less. No special training is required to give the presentation.

Download Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer materials.



  News & Updates  
Pamela S. Hyde Sworn in as New Administrator

Pamela S. Hyde Sworn in as New Administrator

Read more, view Webcast, and see photos.

Parity Law: Lessons Learned from California

Parity Law: Lessons Learned from California

Study may help to highlight the need for public education about the Federal parity law.

Voice Awards Honor Consumer Leaders

Voice Awards Honor Consumer Leaders

Entertainment industry and consumer leaders honored in Hollywood. Photo gallery.


  Publications  
TIP 52:  Treatment Guide to Clinical Supervision

TIP 52: Treatment Guide to Clinical Supervision

Improving counselors’ skills takes coaching and mentoring.

Guidelines: Responding to Mental Health Crises

Report offers principles for safe interventions.

Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

Substance-Exposed Infants: How States Help

Cross-agency, unified approach is recommended.


  Grants  
Funding Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Call for applications include Peer-to-Peer Recovery program.

Tribal Grants Awarded

In Montana, a tribal group recently accepted a “big check.”


  Homelessness  
New Research Available on Parenting

New Research on Parenting

SAMHSA staff recently guest-edited 11 articles that focus on parenting.

Web Site Update on Co-Occurring Disorders

Web Site Update on Co-Occurring Disorders

New, interactive Web site features a library of tools.


  Adolescents & Substance Use  
“Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

“Influencers” Prevent Prescription Drug Misuse

Online toolkit helps family, teachers, and doctors keep teens from abusing prescription drugs.

Youth Tobacco Trends Show Decline

Youth Tobacco Trends Show Decline

Fewer youth are using tobacco products.

Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use

Perceptions of Risk from Substance Use

Age relates to teens’ perception of the danger of substance use.


  Suicide Awareness  
Suicide Prevention Update

Suicide Prevention Update

Lifeline’s Twitter, Facebook numbers rise.


  Prevention Update  
Native American Center for Excellence

Native American Center for Excellence

Recent event included a hoop dancing demonstration.



  Also in this Issue  
Gender Differences in Adolescents

Gender Differences in Adolescents

State reports on behavioral health problems presented by gender.

New Wallet Cards for 1-800-662-HELP

New Wallet Cards for 1-800-662-HELP

Order free wallet cards in English and en español.



  


Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road – Rockville, MD 20857
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