What Are You Doing for National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month?
Did you know that one in 10 youth ages 12 through 17 has abused cough medicine to get high from its dextromethorphan ingredient, and one in 5 young adults has abused a prescription drug? Help raise awareness about the dangers of prescription (Rx) drug abuse and over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine abuse by taking part in National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, observed annually in October.
National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month urges communities to educate parents and youth of the potential dangers associated with prescription and OTC medicine abuse and to hold educational events throughout the month of October to spur discussions in the community.
According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future Survey, approximately 6.8 million people (2.6 percent) abused prescription medicines, including 4.9 million who used pain relievers, 2.1 million who used tranquilizers, 1.2 million who used stimulants, and 270,000 who used sedatives. In 2012, among those who abused illicit drugs, more than one in four people initiated with the nonmedical use of psychotherapeutics. Equally concerning is that about 4 percent of teens reported abusing OTC cough medicine to get high. In addition, according to the 2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, one out of three teens knows someone who has abused OTC cough medicine to get high.
National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month is an ideal launching pad for any medicine abuse prevention efforts. Several prevention and intervention activities and materials are available to help community coalitions address Rx and OTC drug abuse.
Support National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month by:
- Convening town hall meetings: Host educational events, such as town hall meetings or a forum for parents, with your local drug prevention advocates, substance abuse treatment experts, healthcare professionals and policy makers to talk about the facts and craft prevention and intervention strategies.
- Register your event for the CADCA 50 Challenge: Your event must address both prescription drug abuse and over-the-counter cough medicine abuse. Just by registering, you are automatically entered in a drawing for a free iPad and you become eligible to apply for the Dose of Prevention award. The deadline to register for the CADCA 50 Challenge is Nov. 1st. Register Now
- Obtain and integrate materials from:
- www.StopMedicineAbuse.org to address OTC drug abuse in your community.
- CADCA’s Rx Abuse Prevention Toolkit: From Awareness to Action for templates and tools to address prescription drug abuse and over-the-counter medicine abuse.
- Download the following tools: