Our President and CEO, Steve Pasierb, and Marcia Lee Taylor, VP, Government Affairs of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, presented this morning at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Orlando, FL. Their session, “Changing the Public’s Behavior around Medicine Abuse,” addressed the need for a research-based and sustained national prevention effort designed to reduce medicine abuse behavior, as outlined in the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s 2011 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan. Steve and Marcia described the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’s tactics to help meet this goal going forward, beginning with our first-ever “Wake Up to Medicine Abuse” campaign.
This week-long nationwide program, set to take place in September 2012, is an effort put in place by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and a handful of committed partners. We aim to enlist all major organizations with a stake – and an important role to play – in preventing medicine abuse. The goals of the intensive campaign are to raise awareness of the risk of intentional abuse of medicines among the general public and health care professionals, to increase communication between parents and teens about the risks of medicine abuse and to increase action-taking of in-home monitoring and safeguarding of supplies and medicine, among others. Steve and Marcia discussed ways that organizations and constituencies can participate in the effort and hosted an open discussion of ideas about how to maximize stakeholder involvement.
Later today in another Summit session, Steve will interview Congressman Hal Rogers (KY – 05) on the realities of Rx drug abuse. The conversation will explore Congressman Rogers’ thoughts on what it will take to curb this epidemic, who can do more, what resources federal, state and local governments can bring to bear, and more.