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Partnership for a Drug-Free America(R) Responds to 2008 Monitoring the Future Study Results
Date:12/11/2008

attention from this critical family health issue.

First, the abuse of prescription medications continues at alarming levels. The fact that 15 percent of 12th graders report abusing a prescription drug in the past year -- and that this prevalence has remained steady for several years -- is a stark contrast to the progress made against illicit drugs.

Parents cannot wait for the "right time" to have a discussion with their teens about the dangers of abusing prescription medications. They must act now -- first by educating themselves and understanding that abusing medicines can be just as dangerous as using illicit drugs; then by talking to their teens about the risks; and lastly by safeguarding medications at home and disposing of unneeded prescriptions.

The second area of concern is among eighth graders, where there has been a weakening in the perceived risk of using inhalants -- household products that are sniffed to get high. In 2008, this age group also reported a lower rate of disapproval of this behavior.

Lastly, MTF indicates that the decade-long decline in marijuana use among all grades has leveled off, and among 8th and 12th graders, there is weakening in the perceived risk of using marijuana regularly.

Historically, when risk perceptions weaken, the likelihood of use increases. As such, attitudes about both marijuana and inhalant use are in potentially dangerous transition periods, and use may be poised to rise in the future. Prevention efforts, especially by parents, are warranted and encouraged to head off an unnecessary backslide.

While parents and caring adults have the greatest preventive influence over a teen's decision to try drugs, research shows that there is a statistically significant correlation between increased teen exposure to anti-drug messages on television and a decreased likelihood of trying
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SOURCE Partnership for a Drug-Free America
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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