Our Story

History of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

In the mid-1980s, when the nation was in the throes of the crack/cocaine epidemic, a small group of advertising professionals discussed how to best use their talents to turn the tide on this issue. They thought, if advertising could be used to sell products, couldn’t it be used to “unsell” them as well? With that, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids (then known as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America) was born.

Responding to a Changing Drug Landscape

We’ve been supporting families and responding to a changing drug landscape for over 30 years. Take a look at a timeline of the many challenges that presented themselves and the solutions we provided.

With deep roots in advertising, we began as an organization solely committed to drug prevention. Through effective public service campaigns, we harnessed the power of the media and educated the public about the risks of illicit drug use.

As attitudes and behavior around drug and alcohol use among kids have evolved over the years, so have our messages, campaigns and programs.

For the past decade, we’ve focused on providing help that families aren’t finding elsewhere, not only in preventing substance use among kids, but in getting help for those teens and young adults who are already struggling with drugs or drinking. Our programs now include direct service and support to parents, both through our Parents Helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE) and through our engaged and growing online community.

With partners in science, business, education, government, as well as fellow nonprofits and dedicated parents, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is the nonprofit dedicated to helping families struggling with their son or daughter’s substance use.