The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Responds to White House Plan to Address Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Responds to White House Plan to Address Prescription Drug Abuse and HeroinOctober 21, 2015, New York, NY – The White House has announced today that President Obama will host a community forum in Charleston, West Virginia on the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic in that state and in communities across the country. The President will announce a plan to help curb the flow of prescription painkillers and ease the path to treatment for individuals struggling with opioid addiction.

The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a national nonprofit working to reduce substance abuse among adolescents, has been integrally involved in development of the White House plan, and particularly in today’s launch of Safe Drug Disposal: A Guide for Communities Seeking Solutions. This new PDF created by the Partnership, in collaboration with Office of Community Oriented Policing Solutions (COPS), Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will help communities take steps to safely dispose of medicines, protecting their citizens from accidental use, intentional abuse and environmental damage.

One of the key elements of the White House plan is broad-based support from media to bring awareness to this epidemic. Many of the Partnership’s longtime media partners are committing more than $20 million in time and space to this national effort. They include ABC-owned TV Stations, CBS Television Network, CafeMedia, Google, Meredith, The New York Times and Turner Broadcasting.

Furthermore, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) are supporting The White House and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids in their efforts to educate families on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and heroin. MLB will run public service announcements addressing this important societal issue across its media outlets, both via MLB.com and on MLB Network, throughout the entire year. The NBA has committed to use the Partnership’s broadcast, radio, digital and social media assets over the next 12 months.  

“Our partners have always astonished us with their generosity, willingness and passion in getting the word out about our cause,” says Taylor. “Their support will be critical in magnifying this public health concern to a wider audience and giving it the attention it merits.”

The Partnership has been addressing this problem head on for more than a decade, and more specifically with the launch of the Medicine Abuse Project in 2012, a national action campaign and collaboration of eight Federal agencies, 17 corporations and more than 60 national and local partners with a goal of preventing half a million teens from starting to abuse medicine. The Project has broadened awareness among parents around teen prescription drug abuse, including opiates, by promoting safeguarding and safe disposal of unused meds.

The Partnership’s work focuses on families, youth, educators, healthcare providers and community leaders. The Medicine Abuse Project includes a prescription drug guide, educational films and videos, teen-targeted programming, outreach to healthcare providers, infographics for sharing, pilot efforts around Naloxone and education on medication-assisted treatment.

“We applaud the White House and President Obama for his directives on prescriber education and access to medication-assisted treatments for opioid abuse,” added Taylor. “We have focused on both in the Medicine Abuse Project, as they are critical pieces of a comprehensive approach to addressing prescription drug abuse.”

The drug guide is a resource where visitors can access information on the drugs most commonly abused by teens, with a page focused on heroin, as well as a comprehensive prescription drug guide.

Thousands of parents have been educated on medicine abuse through film, where the Partnership has screened Out of Reach, its teen-made documentary capturing the issue of prescription drug abuse in a typical suburban school and community. Another video is part of the Partnership’s Above the Influence (ATI) program that inspires young people to make positive decisions to stay healthy and avoid drugs and alcohol through media messaging, social networks and resources for local organizations. The teen-targeted “Not Prescribed” video communicates the risks of prescription drug abuse directly to youth by using the stories of four real teenagers and is one ATI tool available for youth-serving organizations.

Recognizing the key role healthcare professionals play in prescribing responsibly, the Partnership introduced its “Search and Rescue” campaign in 2014, an effort supported by a multi-year grant from the Food and Drug Administration. West Virginia is one of the states involved in this initiative, where family physicians and pain specialists can access a state-specific website and learn how to identify and help patients who may already be misusing or abusing medication.

The nonprofit’s interactive Rx to Heroin infographic, illustrating the path leading some teens and young adults from prescription painkiller abuse into heroin addiction, and its pilot Naloxone project, bringing life-saving kits and training to New Jersey families, were developed in response to the transitioning of prescription drug abuse to heroin use (4 out of 5 heroin users began first with abuse of prescription pain relievers).

Finally, the Partnership has helped educate families through its medication-assisted treatment e-Book, helping parents better understand the potential life-saving benefits of medication-assisted treatment. The advanced online tool is comprised of videos, testimonials and an e-book to help parents make an informed choice when they are looking for treatment options to help a teen or young adult recover from an addiction to prescription pain medications, heroin or other opiates.

To learn more about the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, please visit drugfree.org.

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11 Responses

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    Steven Sexton

    November 2, 2015 at 2:35 PM

    Some of these stories are heart wrenching and I have been hearing them for decades. I think it is important to understand some horrible truths, that it seems few know. The people in Washington D.C. have about as much power as the Queen of England has in Europe, they are all controlled by the Puppet Masters, we are not going to get any help at all from these people as they are to busy stealing us blind of everything we once held dear . We also seem to not understand that all addiction is the same, we act out because of a deeper mental/physical/spiritual health problem and just like Alcoholics, in which the bottle is just a symbol of that deeper problem, all of our acting out is a result of that deeper problem and as usual we are closing the barn door after the horse gets out. I think it is important to also understand that most of our mental and physical health problems are life style induced. If we are going to stand any chance at all in winning this battle we are going to have to change our fundamental way of thinking, probably in ways we have been told are wrong.

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    Tammy Carroll

    October 21, 2015 at 1:27 PM

    The stopping of funds for Rehab for those over 21 has destroyed hope for many families with children over that age addicted to Heroin. Our families are slowly dying and our Children even though they may be older are at a loss for recovery with no coverage these kids cant get the help they need, and no they cant work for Insurance because their drug addicts and drug addicts when referring to opiates and heroin cant work , they cant do anything but become a burden on society because all they can and do do is worry about their next fix. It is well known fact most that go through recovery will relapse and some need it again or a longer stay, and then as I have seen when relapsing many die…I think Obama is an Asshat for changing that January of last year. This is an absolute epidemic in Maryland and our young people are not getting help and families are being destroyed…..Sincerely a Mom of a heroin addict..;(

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    Sharon Voss, ICADC, CADC II

    October 21, 2015 at 1:26 PM

    It seems insane to me that our administration would make a BFD about this but refuse to enforce our nations EXISTING DRUG LAWS, which is a vow of office, going against the advice of his own medical advisors!! We who work in treatment, particularly with adolescents, know that ANY mind altering substance is a gateway to others. I am also 30 years in recovery from all types of substances but my first drug at the age of 11 was pot, even before alcohol & tobacco (by 13 it was hallucinogens, amphetamines, etc.) . Why wait until opiates to give a sh**?! A quote from one of this adiministration’s advisors regarding marijuana was, “This is not a war on drugs it’s a war FOR the ADOLESCENT BRAIN!!!!! Wake up Washington.

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    Kristin Garbett

    October 21, 2015 at 12:54 PM

    This is wonderful news for young adults who struggle with heroin addiction! The 20 Minuite guide has been another invaluable resource for our family.

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    Donna Rondo

    October 21, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    You want to spend 20 million dollars to help heroin uses, for preventive measures. Okay that’s cool. Yet you’re NOT GIVING THOSE OF US ON SSD & SSI A COST OF LIVING INCREASE COME THE NEW YEAR!!!! Are you out of your minds???? We live at poverty levels now and you want to keep us in poverty. I’m guessing here that everyone in Congress, Senate & all of those involved in politics are getting a cost of living increase. How about you not take a raise & give it to those of us on SSD & SSI!!! Yes I take pain medicine and you would too if you were in the pain I’m in daily. I get barely enough medicine to help with my pain. I know some people abuse it. I know programs are needed for those who are addicted, I know there are already programs in place for them. When you decide not to give the elderly and disabled a cost of living increase, I suggest you think again. My income is under the poverty level already. I can’t afford to own 1 home yet most of you in government own several. My drivers license was taken away from me when I became disabled which I’m okay with but I would’ve never drove under the influence of my pain medicine cause it’s like driving while drunk. Yet so many of those people who have DUI’S still have a license. The elderly and disabled need a cost of living increase. I can’t speak for all of them but before I even get my check you take 105.00 for part of my medical insurance. I don’t get free insurance I don’t get food stamps or housing help. I have to make it on my low income. I can never work again. Spend that 20 million on giving us a cost of living raise. We need it more. There are measures here where I live that watch how much pain medicine is given to people. We have to go to pain clinics and we have copays when we walk in the door. Help us to help ourselves. Obama doesn’t want to help us, he wants to see us all fail. About time for him to start helping those of us that need it. He don’t need a raise and neither do those in Congress or the Senate.

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