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Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Toolkits for Youth

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Less than 1 out of 10 youths aged 12 to 17 currently use drugs illicitly. According to the recently released 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, this rate is lower than those from 2009 to 2012. [1] Furthermore, 1.7 percent of 12 to 17-year olds currently used prescription drugs such as pain relievers, stimulants (e.g. ADHD medications), sedatives and tranquilizers. The lower rates in the use of prescription drugs may be the result of the prescription drug abuse prevention work of many counties and organizations.

Interestingly, the study also reported that 73.5 percent of teenagers who were engaged in drug or alcohol prevention education obtained those messages outside of school. This is a decline from 83.6 percent in 2003 and 75.9 percent in 2012. The decline is significant as it impacts how teenagers and others perceive prescription drugs and other substances. Understanding that prescription drugs are intended for those to whom they was prescribed to using specific methods is critical to preventing the misuse and abuse of prescription medications.

To aid in messaging, thePartnership for Drug-Free Kids has released a new Above the Influence toolkit to assist community leaders and organizations in disseminating prescription drug abuse prevention information to children and youth. The toolkit covers topics ranging from what are prescription drugs, to group and event planning activities, to multimedia resources. Counties may find this information useful as they explore various methods to engage youth and prevent prescription drug abuse in their communities.

[1] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-48, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4863. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014. Available at here .

About Emmanuelle St. Jean (Full Bio)

Health Program Manager

As the Health Program Manager, she manages the Healthy Counties Initiative, a public-private partnership that supports and promotes best practices within the areas of health that are counties are involved with, such as public health, county employee health coverage, and direct care delivery services.

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