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Partnership for a Drug-Free America(R) Responds to 2009 Monitoring the Future Study Results
Date:12/14/2009

Statement of Steve Pasierb, President

NEW YORK, Dec. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future study (MTF) -- the largest survey on teen drug abuse tracking over 46,000 8th, 10th and 12th graders -- underscores that teens' intentional abuse of prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines continues to be a cause for concern, with an alarming number of young people abusing medicines they obtain from friends and relatives.

Teen Abuse of Medication Continues to Be a Pervasive Problem, but Parents Can Make a Difference

According to the study, 33 percent of 12th graders who reported abusing prescription narcotics in the past year were given the medication by a friend or relative, 21 percent bought the medication from a friend or relative, 19 percent abused their own medication prescribed to them by a physician, 12 percent took the narcotic from a friend or relative and 8 percent bought from a dealer or stranger. Among the same cohort of teens, the study also found that Rx and OTC medicines account for 8 out of 13 of the most frequently abused drugs.

"The Monitoring the Future study confirms that teen abuse of Rx and OTC medications continues to be a pervasive problem that unfortunately has become a far too normal part of many teens' lives," said Steve Pasierb, President. "Teens are not only getting these medications from their own homes, but even more troubling, they are also getting them from friends and relatives."

"It is important for parents to educate themselves about the medications kids are abusing and communicate with their kids to dispel the notion that medicines can be safely abused," said Pasierb. "It is also crucial that parents safeguard medications at home, limit access, keep track of quantities and make certain that friends and relatives do the same."

Progress on Methamphetamine, Marijuana Use Tilts up Slightly

The number of high school seniors reporting they used methamphetamine in the past year is now at only 1.2 percent -- the lowest since questions about methamphetamine were added to the survey in 1999, when it was reported at 4.7 percent. In addition, the proportion of 10th graders reporting that crystal meth was easy to obtain has dropped to 14 percent, down from 19.5 percent five years ago.

Monitoring the Future also found that teen marijuana use has been increasing gradually over the past two years (three years among 12th graders) following years of declining use.

"The MTF study serves as a stark reminder that the current drug culture is vastly different from when parents were teens themselves," said Pasierb. "Today's teens have gone from abusing street drugs to products they easily find at home. Communication between parents and kids is the most effective prevention tool when it comes to protecting your teen from abusing medications. Parents can make a difference, and we know that kids who report learning 'a lot' about the dangers of drug abuse at home are up to 50 percent less likely to use."

The Partnership continues to focus its efforts on motivating and empowering parents with the resources and tools they need to help protect their children from the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

For more information on how to prevent abuse of medicines please visit drugfree.org/NotInMyHouse or download the brochure "Getting High on Prescription and Over-The-Counter Drugs is Dangerous" at www.drugfree.org/Files/rx_guide. For more information on how to prevent the spread of methamphetamine in your community, visit drugfree.org/meth360.

About the Partnership

The Partnership at drugfree.org is a nonprofit organization uniting parents, renowned scientists and communications professionals to help families raise healthy children. The Partnership motivates and equips parents to prevent their children from using drugs and alcohol, intervene when drug and alcohol use is present and find help for family and friends in trouble. The Partnership's site, drugfree.org, translates current research on teen behavior, addiction and treatment into easy to understand tips and tools and connects parents with expert advice and support. For parents who need help starting and maintaining conversations with their kids about drugs and alcohol, Time To Talk, a nationwide parents' movement, offers empowering tips and tools at TimeToTalk.org. The Partnership depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and government. The Partnership thanks SAG/AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity.

SOURCE Partnership for a Drug-Free America


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SOURCE Partnership for a Drug-Free America
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