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MetLife Foundation Begins New Phase of Award-Winning Parenting Skills Campaign in Collaboration with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America(R)
Date:9/24/2007

NEW YORK, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MetLife Foundation will begin the next phase of its award-winning parenting skills campaign, airing education messages created in cooperation with the nonprofit Partnership for a Drug-Free America(R) on radio stations in 11 markets nationwide through November. The radio campaign is backed by web resources and a free brochure for parents.

The campaign features radio messages, in both English and Spanish, which stress to parents the importance of talking with kids about drugs and alcohol, and staying involved in their children's lives in order to keep them healthy and drug free. Disturbingly, at a time when teens are faced with new threats such as the intentional abuse of prescription (Rx) painkillers and over-the- counter (OTC) cough medicines, the number of frequent discussions between parents and teens about the risks of drug abuse has decreased significantly.

The 2006 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) on parents released just last month, confirms a 12 percent decline from 2005 in the frequent discussions (four or more) between parents and their teens about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse (55 percent in 2005 down to 49 percent in 2006). Even more concerning is that a mere 36 percent of parents reported having in- depth conversations about abuse of prescription medications and only 33 percent have thoroughly discussed abuse of OTC cough and cold medicines with their teens.

Other recent Partnership research studies show the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines has become an entrenched behavior in American teen culture. Nearly one in five teens (19 percent) report abusing prescription medications to get high, and one in 10 (10 percent) report abusing cough medicine to get high. Abuse of Rx and OTC medications is on par or higher than the abuse of illegal drugs such as Ecstasy (8 percent), cocaine/crack (10 percent), methamphetamine (8 percent) and heroin (5 percent).<
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SOURCE The Partnership for a Drug-Free America
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