Saturday, October 1, 2011

October is National Medecine Abuse Awareness Month

Did you know that more than 6 million people ages 12 or older have abused a prescription drug and one in 10 youth ages 12 through 17, or 2,400,000 children, reports having intentionally abused cough medicine to get high? 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 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, considered the preeminent national study on teen substance abuse, since 2002 prescription drug abuse has jumped 20 percent among those ages 12 and older. Among those ages 12-17, prescription drug abuse increased 17 percent, jumping from 2.3 percent of youth in 2008 to 2.7 percent in 2009. In addition, the 2009 Monitoring the Future Survey showed that 5 percent of teens have abused an over-the-counter cough medicine to get high over the past year.

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 visiting these Prescription Drug and Over the Counter Medecine educational websites.

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