Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’ history, offerings and more.

Looking for answers to help address your child’s drug use? Call the Parent Helpline or browse the Parent Blog for advice from experts and perspective from families who have been there.

Our Structure & Funding

Are you a nonprofit or a government agency?
Were you formerly The Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the Partnership at Drugfree.org?
Where does the Partnership receive its funding?
How does the Partnership report its finances?
What is your relation to the Drug Free America Foundation and Foundation for a Drug-Free World?
What is your relation to the Partnership News Service (formerly known as Join Together)?

Are you a nonprofit or a government agency?
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, subsisting on donations. We are not part of any government agency.

Were you formerly The Partnership for a Drug-Free America and/or the Partnership at Drugfree.org?
Yes, we changed our name to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to better represent our work to help families of kids. Whether a son or daughter is 12 or 29, we support parents and caregivers who are concerned about a child’s substance use and addiction.

Where does the Partnership receive its funding?
We receive our funding from corporations, government grants, individuals and foundations. More information can be found in our Annual Report. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids accepts no funding or in-kind services from alcohol or tobacco companies.

How does the Partnership report its finances?
The Partnership currently functions with an operating budget of $7 million with cash expenses covering staffing, educational content and materials, research, public education advertising, presentations, online resources and the parent resource Helpline. In addition, the Partnership is mandated by the IRS to report non-cash, voluntary in-kind donations of media time and print advertising space for public service announcements, estimated at $80 million a year from media outlets and publishers.

As disclosed in the audit report for 2014, section of “Notes to the Financial Statements” in the paragraph “Contributed Services, Media time and Space,” the Partnership complies with financial reporting requirements and accounting standards by including donated media as part of its annual revenues and expenses. This larger amount reflects the impact and reach of our content thanks to the generosity of media sponsors. However, this may overstate the level of operating resources that we expend annually to conduct our activities.

What is your relation to the Drug Free America Foundation and Foundation for a Drug-Free World?
There is no relation. Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a drug prevention and policy organization based in Florida, which can be found at dfaf.org. Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a drug prevention organization which can be found at drugfreeworld.org.

What is your relation to the Partnership News Service (formerly known as Join Together)?
On April 2011, the Join Together News Service became part of the Partnership through collaboration with the Boston University School of Public Health. In 2016, Join Together became the Partnership News Service and continues to provide weekly or breaking news on the top drug and alcohol news that impacts your work, life and community. Its highly utilized resources, alcoholscreening.org and drugscreening.org, remain stand-alone websites. To learn more and subscribe to the weekly edition, visit the Partnership News Service.

Our Positions

Do you receive money from the Office of National Drug Control Policy?
Do you receive support from pharmaceutical companies?
Do you support prescription drug monitoring programs?
Do you support Good Samaritan laws?
What are your views on naloxone? Should it be widely available?
Do you support medication-assisted treatment?
What is your position on the need for education for doctors who prescribe scheduled prescription medication for their patients?
What is your position on legalization of marijuana?
How are you addressing the country’s opioid epidemic?
What are your views around the language of addiction?

Do you receive money from the Office of National Drug Control Policy?
No. The Partnership helped secure congressional support for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign in 1998 and worked on the campaign as a pro-bono partner until 2013, when Congress eliminated funding for the program.

Do you receive support from pharmaceutical companies?
Companies who have played a part in the nation’s current opioid crisis also need to be an integral part of the solution. The pharmaceutical industry has a civic and humanitarian obligation to help prevent diversion and misuse of their products. Whether through a court settlement or through corporate philanthropy, they have an urgent responsibility help bring forth effective and actionable resources to help the millions of families who are dealing with addiction at home.

For those reasons, the Partnership has requested financial support from pharmaceutical companies who support our mission, in addition to other foundations and organizations. This is similar to universities, arts and theater institutions, and other nonprofits that receive funding from pharmaceutical companies, in addition to various other sources. Our work in this area is not dictated or influenced by any financial contributor, nor have we ever answered to any funder or special interest in this capacity.

Despite our independence from influence in these matters, we have made a decision to decline funding from those opioid manufacturers who, based on their marketing and distribution practices, have been identified as defendants in the Ohio multi-district litigation trial, which combines cases from around the country. The Partnership is open to re-assessing and evaluating our position at a later juncture based on the data and we remain open to expanding our restriction over time.

Restricted Funds vs. Project Funds vs. Unrestricted Funds

No outside company has influence over the Partnership’s mission or direction. The bulk of donor support we receive is in the form of “unrestricted funds.” This means that the funder has no involvement in the development or approval of the Partnership’s content, strategic communications or tactics. When an organization requests funding be spent on a specific geographic location or for one of our specific projects, like the Medicine Abuse Project, which helps prevent misuse and abuse of prescription drugs, they have no influence over the actual content, strategy or tactics of our work. This funding allows us to help families in need of resources and support.

Unrestricted Support Helps Fund Resources for Parents and Families

The Partnership utilizes a variety of unrestricted donor funds to provide resources and direct services, including our science-based tools (https://drugfree.org/article/heroin-other-opioids-from-understanding-to-action/) at drugfree.org and our Toll-Free Helpline at 855-DRUGFREE (https://drugfree.org/article/get-one-on-one-help/#gethelp1), all free of charge to those families who need them most. This includes one-on-one peer support from parent coaches, where we pair families seeking additional guidance and support with a trained parent volunteer who has also traveled the path of dealing with a child’s substance use.

We have also created and distributed a number of free tools and eBooks for parents related to heroin and opioids, including information on treatment and recovery (https://drugfree.org/landing-page/get-help-support/understand-find-treatment-options/), the overdose reversal drug Naloxone (https://drugfree.org/article/overdose-response-treatment/) and short films on prescription drug abuse (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SeqZs4tURI&feature=youtu.be&t=3s), to name a select few.

Do you support prescription drug monitoring programs?
Yes. Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) are an important component in addressing the medicine abuse epidemic. We support the position of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy on the need for PDMPs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with those programs interconnected to be able to share data, thereby providing a more effective means of combating drug diversion and drug abuse nationwide. We also believe that states need to do more to ensure that these programs are adequately funded and that medical groups should do more to encourage prescribers to use them. To learn more about the epidemic of medicine abuse and how you can help, visit the Medicine Abuse Project.

Do you support Good Samaritan laws?
Yes. Accidental drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. Some of these deaths could be prevented if the patient received medical care in a timely manner. The Partnership supports policies like Good Samaritan laws that encourage people to call 911 when someone is overdosing. We encourage every state to enact legislation that provides limited legal immunity for minor drug law violations for those who call for help as well as the person who is overdosing.

What are your views on naloxone? Should it be widely available?
Yes. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, acts to displace opioids from receptors in the brain and allows slowed breathing to resume. A dose of naloxone can reverse the effects of heroin or prescription opiates and can save the life of an individual who is overdosing on one of these substances. We believe that all first responders should carry naloxone and be trained on how to use it. We also support efforts to make naloxone more widely available in the community in order to prevent as many overdoses as possible.

Do you support medication-assisted treatment?
Yes. Medication-assisted treatment is the use of medication, along with therapy and other supports within evidence-based treatment, to help address issues related to opioid dependence, including withdrawal, cravings and relapse prevention. Medication-assisted treatment can help a person stop thinking constantly about the problem drug, and help reduce cravings and withdrawal.

What is your position on the need for education for doctors who prescribe scheduled prescription medication for their patients?
Our view is that medical schools do not adequately educate doctors about pain or addiction. Action, via an education requirement, needs to be taken to help physicians understand how to adequately prescribe medication for those in need, yet turn away “doctor shoppers” seeking to misuse pain medication. What’s more, because 70 percent of those who misuse prescription pain medications report obtaining these drugs from friends or family, it is crucial that health professionals prescribe appropriately.

What is your position on legalization of marijuana?
As the country debates new policies on marijuana – medicalization, decriminalization and legalization – none address our sole concern: the health and well-being of young people.

We recognize that the status quo is changing. We do not believe that any drug use, including alcohol, should be treated as primarily a law enforcement issue, but rather a health issue. Further, we acknowledge the discriminatory way in which marijuana prohibition has been implemented in the United States.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids supports what is in the best interest of families and their kids’ health, and the use of marijuana or any substance in adolescence is an unhealthy behavior for kids.

Our national prevention and treatment infrastructure has been decimated over the course of the past decade. We must rebuild those systems if we are to limit the long-term harm that marijuana and other drugs can cause to kids who use any of these substances in adolescence.

This reality causes us to remain concerned about the introduction of any system that could result in an increase in teen marijuana use – especially regular use. Currently, 44 percent of teens report having used marijuana. Our goal is to keep that number from rising and reduce the number of kids who will use in the future.

We firmly believe that laws should reflect the clear expectation of the more than 90 percent of parents (including the vast majority of parents who support legalization) that kids under 21 be protected from the mass availability and marketing of marijuana. 1 This includes the packaging of “edible” products, like brownies, candy and cookies, that appeal to kids. Looking to our national experience with alcohol and tobacco products, we have deep concerns about the impact of marijuana advertising and marketing on youth and believe that far more attention should be paid to this issue.

We also need to accelerate credible, scientific research to explore whether any potential medical benefits of marijuana outweigh its risks. Significant health risks come with the manufacture and sale of medicine that has not been scientifically tested for efficacy and safety. If it is to be considered medicine, the Food and Drug Administration should test it to ensure its safety and efficacy as it does with all other medicine.

Moving forward, we will monitor legalization as it continues to unfold in many states, and evaluate the impact on the health of our kids. We will push for effective prevention programs to be funded by revenue that comes from legalization. We will equip parents with the information they need on the very real health risks of early use and help them have factual, frank conversations with their kids in this changing landscape.

These are all criteria to which the Partnership adheres, and they are criteria that should be addressed before policy – medicalization, decriminalization and legalization – is brought to a vote, rather than treated as “details” to be sorted out later.

How are you addressing the country’s opioid epidemic?
With funding and support from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) in the eastern United States, in May 2016 we launched a comprehensive resource to help families and communities address the country’s growing heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis. Titled Heroin and Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action, we provide parents with information, support for their family and treatment resources for their loved one. These resources include facts about heroin’s risk and effects, an extensive Medication-Assisted Treatment e-book and a detailed infographic on the progression from prescription pain reliever abuse to heroin use.

The opioid epidemic is also the principal target of our multi-year national action campaign, the Medicine Abuse Project. The Partnership works with federal partners, numerous nonprofit and association partners, and both public and private sector funders to help educate parents and the public at large about what they can do to end adolescent medicine abuse.

Participating organizations include: federal partners such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of National Drug Control Policy; a large number of strategic partners including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians; and private sector partners, including a number of pharmaceutical companies concerned about the misuse and abuse of over-the-counter cough medicine and prescription drugs.

The campaign’s most visible initiatives include our “Mind Your Meds” campaign, a teen-made documentary, “Out of Reach” and website at medicineabuseproject.org, which offers an array of best-in-class resources for parents, educators, healthcare providers and community leaders/law enforcement.

Our main goal is reducing the number of teens (ages 13-17) and young adults (ages 18-25) — 276,000 and 829,000 respectively — who are misusing pain relievers, as that is a primary precursor behavior to heroin use. 2

In addition, the Partnership is engaged in a five-year prescriber education effort, underwritten by the Food and Drug Administration, aimed at driving greater prescriber use of state-based Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), which has been shown to significantly reduce doctor shopping when consistently applied.

1 PATS 2013
2 NSDUH 2015

What are your views around the language of addiction?
Addiction is a disease, and it’s important that we use language that frames it as a health issue and shows respect to people who are struggling with an addiction and to their families who are impacted.

A person shouldn’t be defined or labeled by his or her disease or illness, it is something they have. For example: Instead of calling someone a “diabetic,” it’s preferable to use person-first language and say “someone with diabetes.” The same goes with the word “addict.” Saying “a person with addiction” is much more compassionate.

We have a choice when we communicate. We can use words that perpetuate the negative stigma around substance use – words that label people with an addiction in a negative, shameful and judgmental way. Or we can use words that are compassionate, supportive and respectful – words that helps others understand substance use disorder as the health issue that it is.

Read a list of words and phrases that we aim to avoid and words that we use in their place.

 

Our Services

What makes up the Partnership’s Parent Services?
What is the Parent Helpline?
What is Parent Coaching and how can I participate?
Where can I find downloadable Guides & Resources to help my child?
How can I locate a treatment facility for my child?

What makes up the Partnership’s Parent Services?
We provide a system of care for parents whose teen or young adult is struggling with substances. It is a very special fusion of head and heart, grounded in the evidence-based principles of motivational interviewing, Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). We help parents and other caregivers keep open lines of communication with their child and reduce the damage that is being done to the child and to the family by substance use and related behaviors.

Families can connect with us on our website and via our Parent Helpline, reaching us by phone (855-DRUGFREE), live chat, email, Facebook Messenger and text. Our Helpline Specialists can also connect parents to the Partnership’s Parent Coaches.

What is the Parent Helpline?
Our trained, bilingual, master’s-level specialists provide one-on-one support and guidance to families who are concerned about their loved one’s substance use. They are available to listen, help families find answers and make an action plan to address substance use.

A note about parents: We know that supportive roles in a child’s life come in many forms. Whether you are a parent, stepparent, grandparent, foster parent, aunt, uncle, supportive sibling or another caregiver, our Helpline is here for you.

Parents and caregivers can connect to the Helpline via:

  • Phone at 855-DRUGFREE
  • Email
  • Text message
  • Facebook Messenger

What is Parent Coaching and how can I participate?
The purpose of Parent Coaching is to provide parents struggling with their child’s substance use compassionate support from someone who has been in their shoes. You can read our coach’s thoughts on parents’ most frequent question and common challenges within the Parent Blog series “Ask a Parent Whose Been There”. Learn more about the program, including how you can become a volunteer coach >>

Where can I find downloadable Guides & Resources to help my child?
This entire website is full of guides, videos, articles, eBooks and other resources for parents and families to help their child struggling with drug or alcohol use, or to help prevent their child from using drugs or alcohol. Use our main navigation to find the information you need, or check the Downloadable Resources page to get started.

How can I locate a treatment facility for my child?
If you need to find a drug and alcohol abuse treatment program near you, please be sure to review all of our resources and information on understanding and finding treatment before visiting the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator.

 

Ways to Get Involved

How can I get involved and begin making a difference?
How can I request brochures?
How can I donate to your organization?
Do you accept volunteers?
Can you send a speaker to my school/organization for a presentation?
How do I create a local office of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids within my state?
How do you work with your local offices and Alliances?
How can I stay informed about the latest news about substance abuse?
How do I request permission to use the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids content for a book, textbook, film, television program, website, personal use or elsewhere?
How do I get in touch about media inquiries?

How can I get involved and begin making a difference?
Anyone can make a difference, in both helping support families who are concerned about their loved one’s substance use, as well as advocating for greater understanding and more effective programs to treat the disease of addiction. There are many ways to give and get involved, such as making a donation to our organization, hosting a grassroots event, advocating for our issue, attending an event and joining our community. Read about even more ways to get involved here.

Become a Partner for Hope
Through our Partners for Hope platform, anyone can celebrate recovery by sharing a Story of Hope or honor a loved one by writing a Memorial Tribute. Becoming a Partner for Hope is an opportunity to quickly and easily share your story (you can begin right away; no need to complete our volunteer survey) – including photos or video – while inviting friends and family to contribute their own comments and stories as well.

How can I request brochures?
To request brochures, please contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Health Information Network at 1 (877) 726-4727.

How can I donate to your organization?
If you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to help further our work, please visit the Donate page or contact us at (212)-973-3538.

Do you accept volunteers?
There are several ways to volunteer for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
The Partnership also has an Alliance network with local offices throughout the country where there may be volunteer opportunities. Please check the Alliances page for contact information.

Can you send a speaker to my school/organization for a presentation?
You can contact one of our Alliances to see if they may be able to participate.

How do I create a local office of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids within my state?
Please check our Alliances page to see if your state already has one. If not, please contact Program Coordinator, Madison Moore at Madison_Moore@drugfree.org to discuss how we can work together.

How do you work with your local offices and Alliances?
Grassroots efforts are also vital to changing attitudes about drug and alcohol use, educating individuals about health risks and effectively changing behaviors surrounding substance use disorders. Our Alliance program, which is comprised of state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations, plays a distinct yet separate role at the local level. The Alliances help place our public service announcements in local media, and have their own charters and missions that are specific to their own community needs. As such, the Partnership and its alliances each have their own unique, individual voice to address national and regional issues as they pertain to their local areas.

How can I stay informed about the latest news about substance use?
Sign up for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids emails and visit us on Facebook and Twitter to receive the latest drug and alcohol news, helpful tools, tips and guidance for raising healthy kids.

How do I request permission to use the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids content for a book, textbook, film, television program, website, personal use or elsewhere?
To include any content from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids within a book, textbook, film, television program, website, personal use or elsewhere, please email your request using our Contact Us form with your full name, address, phone and e-mail along with the intended use and information about the purpose of your permission request.

How do I get in touch about media inquiries?
For media inquiries, please contact 212-973-3524 or email us.