Opioid Use Among Teens Decreasing, Studies Suggest
Opioid use is declining among high school seniors, a new study suggests.
All of us who are passionate about reducing drug abuse cannot ignore the growing dangers of prescription drug abuse, particularly among teens and young adults. By preventing drug abuse where it starts, we can make a tremendous difference in the life of our nation: one community, one family and one child at a time.
the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has highlighted this disturbing trend with a staggering statistic from the 2010 Partnership Attitude Tracking Survey (PATS): One out of four teens has admitted to taking a prescription drug not prescribed to them. This confirms what we see in other studies and in our drug enforcement work at DEA:
We also know where abusers are getting prescription drugs. It’s often from friends and family, particularly home medicine cabinets that provide easy access, which leads to accidents and the illegal sale of these drugs:
We can make a difference in stopping prescription drug abuse. It will not be easy. It will not be quick. But together, we can change access, attitudes and keep these drugs out of harm’s way.
One important step we can take right now is to make sure we safely and securely dispose of unused, unneeded and expired medications. Many of you joined DEA on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day last September to do just that. With your help, we collected over 121 tons of prescription drugs. This Saturday, April 30, we will be holding another Take-Back Day at thousands of locations across the nation. We already have more collection sites registered than last year. Please visit www.DEA.gov to find the location nearest you.
Soon, DEA will develop regulations to implement the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 passed last fall by Congress and signed by the President. This will provide for a permanent solution for the safe disposal of controlled substance prescription drugs. It will not, however, end our need to be vigilant in this fight.
I am certain that the more we can do to stop the abuse of prescription drugs, the more effective we will be in reducing the death, destruction and despair that accompanies all drug abuse. Thank you for your partnership with DEA.
Michele M. Leonhart
Drug Enforcement Administration
U.S. Department of Justice