The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation released our 24th annual survey on teen drug and alcohol abuse this morning.
This year’s national study data on American teens confirms that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription (Rx) drug at least once in their lifetime – a dramatic 33 percent increase over the past five years. The new data from the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) also found a significant rise in misuse or abuse of prescription stimulants, with one in eight teens (13 percent) now reporting that they have misused or abused the Rx stimulants Ritalin or Adderall in their lifetime.
Contributing to this disturbing trend in teen medicine misuse and abuse are the lax attitudes of parents and caregivers. They are missing key opportunities to effectively communicate the dangers of Rx medicine misuse and abuse to their kids, while not safeguarding and disposing of their medications properly at home.
Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, added:
“This new data is not about blaming parents. Rather, it’s an urgent call to action for them to use their immense power to help curb this dangerous behavior. It’s about missed opportunities to protect their kids by having direct conversations with them about the health risks of misusing and abusing medicines – and to then moving to safeguard the medicines in their own home. Parental apathy on this issue is contributing to the problem. Yet the same data show year in and year out that kids who learn a lot about the risks of drug use at home are up to half as likely to use as kids who don’t get that life-changing gift from their parents.”
Read the release and full report by clicking here.