Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Applauds Maryland Governor for Signing Bill to Help Combat Prescription Drug Abuse

SB606/HB887 Will Increase Access to Abuse-Deterrent Formulations for Opioids

Baltimore, MD (May 14, 2015) – The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit working to reduce adolescent substance abuse, applauds Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan for signing SB606/HB887, legislation that will help combat prescription (Rx) drug abuse in the state by increasing access to abuse deterrent formulations for opioids.

“Abuse of prescription medication, and particularly prescription painkillers, is rampant in Maryland and around the country. One in five teens say they have taken an Rx drug without a prescription, and these medications often come straight from his or her family’s own medicine cabinet,” said Marcia Lee Taylor, Interim President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “We applaud Governor Hogan and Maryland lawmakers for taking this important step to help curb teen medicine abuse.”

Abuse deterrent formulations (ADF) are opioids approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat pain. ADF have properties that make them more difficult to alter in order to gain an illicit high. Due to the way these medications are manufactured, they lose their “high” when crushed, injected or manipulated by a potential abuser.

“We know that 90 percent of addictions begin in the teen years, so drug awareness and monitoring are key to combatting abuse and dependence. Abuse deterrent opioids are also a critical tool that will help prevent medicine abuse,” said Baltimore resident Steve Cline, Deputy Director of Field Operations for the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. “We are honored to partner with local leaders Sen. Catherine Pugh and Del. Karen Lewis Young in combating Rx drug abuse and prioritizing the health of Marylanders by sponsoring this key legislation.”

In response to the continued high prevalence of teen prescription medicine abuse, the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids launched The Medicine Abuse Project in 2012. It is a multi-year initiative with the goal of preventing half a million teens from abusing prescription medicine by the year 2017. To learn more about the project and other resources for parents and families, please visit drugfree.org.

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