October is National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Prevention advises that the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution that named October as National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month, to raise awareness of the dangers of youth prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medicine abuse.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that medicine abuse is our nation’s fastest-growing drug problem. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2010, 2.4 million people abused prescription drugs for the first time. In addition, the 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey found that five percent of teens have abused over-the-counter cough medicines—sometimes as much as 25 to 50 times the recommended dose—to get high over the past year. When abused in extreme excess, many of these drugs can produce dangerous side effects, especially when combined with alcohol, illicit drugs, or certain prescription drugs.

“While prescription and over-the-counter medicines are safe and necessary for many people, too many teens are abusing these drugs to get high. We hope that our efforts during National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month will raise awareness of the numbers of young people who currently abuse medicines, and spur communities to action to prevent and reduce medicine abuse among youth,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s chairman and CEO.

Talbot Partnership for Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Prevention is making sure that parents, young adults and teens know the very real risks of misusing medicine.Most people take medicines only for the reasons their doctors prescribe them. But an estimated 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons. This is prescription drug abuse. It is a serious and growing problem.

For further information on the dangers of prescription drugs for non-medical purposes, contact Talbot Partnership at 410-819-8067 or info@talbotpartnership.org.