The Partnership’s Annual Report & Financials

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is making a true difference in the lives of families. We do this by helping the helpers. We support the people that surround our most vulnerable and who can have the most connection and positive influence on a young person’s life.

Our commitment to families is borne out in our history and impact in public service advertising, creating awareness and inspiring action for more than three decades. It’s found in our free evidence-based services, connecting with families online, by phone and on-the-ground in local communities. Our commitment helps us innovate and develop tools that lead to personalized, customized plans for parents for parents and caregivers, because we know there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

In 2018, more than 4 million individuals accessed resources on our website and we provided direct support to 7,500 families via our Helpline and parent coaching.

And we were so pleased to announce the news of our merger with Center on Addiction, formerly known as the National Center on Substance Abuse and Addiction. This merger enables us to combine our family services, advocacy efforts and extensive communications expertise with their deep roots in research, technical assistance and policy expertise to create the most comprehensive national organization dedicated to ending addiction.

2018 Highlights & Impact

Connecting Through Our Helpline

Now heading into its 10th year in operation, our Helpline is staffed by trained and caring specialists who are ready to help parents and caregivers find answers and make an action plan for their child. Thanks to the generous support of Google and other funders, we extended Helpline hours to meet the increasing needs for support and family services. Helpline specialists are available Monday through Friday from 9:00am to midnight and weekends from noon to 5:00pm (all times ET).

Responding to New Trends

The 2018 release of the Monitoring the Future Study indicated that, among 12th graders, nearly 1 in 3 reported using a vaping device in the past year, taking many families, schools and healthcare providers by surprise. The Partnership responded by creating a Vaping Guide that helps parents get caught up with new vaping trends and provides a framework to help address and prevent vaping in their own families.

Partnering to Drive Down Medicine Abuse
  • For over a decade, our campaign in collaboration with the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) has continued to drive down rates of abuse of over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine containing dextramethorphane (DXM).
  • Together with Google and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), we encouraged families and individuals to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, an annual event to help curb the country’s opioid crisis by disposing of excess, unwanted and expired prescription medicine. Google made it easier for people to find nearby Take Back events using Google Maps.
  • With 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction, options for pain management that are non-addictive and reduce the oversupply of opioids are imperative. We began collaborating with various corporate and nonprofit partners on a new initiative, Voices for Non-Opioid Choices to educate patients and consumers on available options and reduce the regulatory barriers to accessing opioid alternative.
Partnering to Achieve Better Health Outcomes
  • With funding from the Conrad Hilton Foundation, we conducted research on how to motivate parents and caregivers to take early substance use seriously. The research uncovered a significant gap in parenting skills related to addressing early use. This insight led to a messaging campaign built on the notion of “How Worried Should I Be?” which directed more than 35,000 parents to resources on communications and behavior management skills.
  • In response to the country’s opioid epidemic, five leading nonprofits — Center on Addiction, Legal Action Center, Public Health Management Corporation, Kennedy Forum and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids — worked together on a campaign to enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Parity Act). The Act requires most health insurance companies to guarantee the same coverage for mental health and substance use disorders as they provide for medical and surgical benefits. Yet a decade after the Parity Act was enacted, families continue to be denied coverage. In 2018, we organized advocates to weigh in with members of Congress on the need to provide coverage for addiction treatment. We also published various materials on how to appeal a denial of care and file a complaint with your insurance company.
Representing Family Journeys in Public Service Advertising

The Partnership has a long, rich history in public service advertising (PSAs). Some of the country’s most renowned creative advertising agencies have donated their time and talent, creating inspiring and memorable campaigns.

In 2018, two new television PSAs encourage parents and caregivers to take action and not hesitate to reach out for help for their child struggling with substance use. Both spots featured real parents whose children faced an addiction to prescription opioids.

Upon discovering his son was misusing prescription pills, David stated, “I felt like a failure, as many parents do, but the problem was bigger than him. He needed help so I confronted it.” His son is now in recovery.

Justina ultimately lost her son Ronnie when he was just 19 years old. In her PSA, she tearfully advises other parents, “Try not to be too proud to reach out for help. Don’t be worried about what your neighbor or family will think, just get the child the help they need.”

These ads aired in conjunction with a larger parent testimonial campaign supported by pro-bono media totaling over $65 million.

View our full 2018 Annual Report (PDF)

Reporting & Oversight

We value the support and generosity of our funders and spend dollars prudently, with 77 percent of our operating expenses going directly to programs. In 2018, we leveraged a $8.1 million operating budget into $83.8 million of contributed services, media time and space that help up reach millions of families.

Measuring Effectiveness

We provide a formal report to our Board of Directors each year, where we assess our effectiveness in achieving our mission. In 2018, more than 4 million parents and caregivers found the answers they needed at Our Helpline Specialists connected with thousands by phone, email, text and Facebook Messenger, offering information and support to families who are concerned about their child’s substance use.

Governance and Oversight

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids adheres to best practices of charity management and fundraising standards and consistently receives high marks from charity-monitoring and watchdog agencies, such as the Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator. Our volunteer board of directors is engaged and independent, providing leadership and oversight over operations and staff.

Independent Auditing

The independent accounting firm KPMG LLP conducts an annual review of our financial statements in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America. A copy of audited statements and annual 990 tax returns, prepared by Grant Thornton LLP, can be accessed in the links below.


Financial Statements

2018: Annual Report | Audited Financial Statements | From 990 | Donors & Funders
2017: Annual Report | Audited Financial Statements | Form 990 | Donors & Funders
2016: Annual Report | Audited Financial Statements | Form 990 | Donors & Funders
2015: Annual Report | Audited Financial Statements | Form 990 | Donors & Funders

In 2019, we merged with Center on Addiction. To view their financials, visit