The Medicine Abuse Project

       

Today is an important day.

Although I usually maintain a bit of distance between this blog and my other professional life, today is too important not to merge the two.

The company for which I’ve worked for nearly eight years, The Partnership at Drugfree.org, launches a multi-year, most impressive project today:  The Medicine Abuse Project.

What is the Medicine Abuse Project?

This campaign unites families, communities, industry, health care professionals, educators, law enforcement and government officials to curb medicine abuse.  Ultimately, our goal is to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine within the next five years.

It’s a monumental undertaking, but one worth doing because medicine abuse has reached epidemic proportions in this country.

Let me ask you this:  Can you imagine the fear of a parent putting her or his 16-year-old behind the wheel of a car for the first time?  Many of you have and it’s nearly impossible not to picture images of twisted metal vehicle accidents, isn’t it?

But do you know that more Americans die from drug overdoses that in car crashes?  Hard to believe, I know, but the trend is being driven by prescription painkiller overdoses.

Facts of note

Our infographic tells the story but here are a few facts that jump out:

  • •  One person dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose in the United States.
  • •  1 in 6 teens has used a prescription drug to get high
  • •  70% of teens who abuse prescriptions drugs say they get them from family members and friends

And the most alarming statistic with plenty of future ramifications:

90% of addictions get their start in the teenage years.

What can you do?

We need your help because your actions will seed the Medicine Abuse Project and help it grow.  So what can you do?  First, log on to medicineabuseproject.org and take the pledge to learn about teen medicine abuse.

Second, talk to the teens in your life (even if you don’t have kids, chances are you influence teens within your circles) about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

Third, safeguard your medicines at home.  Know what you have and the quantities at all times.  Dispose of unused and outdated medicines (including over-the-counter) at one of hundreds of locations across the United States during DEA’s National Rx Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 29. For sites near you, log onto the site medicineabuseproject.org.

Medicine Abuse Project kick-off events this week

You’re also invited to join several other live events this week, including:

  • •  iVillage Chat on Twitter (use #endmedicineabuse) on Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern
  • •  Grand Central Station compelling, digital exhibit (for those of you in NYC) on Tuesday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Eastern
  • •  Hope for Recovery webinar from Newseum in Washington, D.C. on Thursday at 12 noon Eastern (visit aetv.com/medicineabuse to view the webinar.)
  • •  Meet the Parents Hour on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern (on drugfree.org’s Facebook timeline; Q&A with actor and model Amber Smith of Celebrity Rehab)

Every voice, every mouse click, every minute spent learning about the issue of prescription drug abuse is needed.  YOU are needed to make this effort succeed.  Please join us.

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