THROUGH THE EYES OF A TEEN:
The Medicine Abuse Project and “Out of Reach” Documentary
The Partnership continued to team up with doctors, educators, communities, federal agencies, corporate partners and families in the second year of The Medicine Abuse Project, our five-year initiative that aims to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine by the year 2017.
In 2013, after a national competition, we worked with teen filmmaker Cyrus Stowe to create “Out of Reach,” a short documentary that captures the issue of prescription drug abuse through a teen’s eyes. It premiered at the 18th annual Genart Film Festival in New York City in October. The film was paired with a special toolkit to help plan local screenings and inform discussions. Requests for the film have come in from community leaders, law enforcement and individuals in nearly every state. We are driving even more meaningful conversations about preventing and responding to teen medicine abuse.
THE DRUG LANDSCAPE:
Partnership Attitude Tracking Study & Hispanic Teen Drug Use
Our national Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) reported that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. Coverage of the study generated more than 680 media stories, including exposure in The Washington Post, NPR and the Associated Press (which garnered more than 100 million impressions).
Later in 2013, we released additional PATS research showing that Hispanic teens are using drugs at alarmingly higher levels when compared to teens from other ethnic groups. CNN, US News & World Report and NBC Latino reported the findings, which confirmed that substance abuse has become a normalized behavior among Latino youth.
The Meth Project
The Meth Project – one of the world’s leading prevention programs with deep roots in states across the nation – became part of the Partnership. The Meth Project’s public education initiatives, advertising campaigns, in-school lessons, prevention tools and family of websites, including MethProject.org, are now part of our comprehensive national efforts to prevent and reduce substance abuse among teens.
A Win for Families as National Retailer Halts Sale of Rx Drug Paraphernalia
In May 2013, we learned that teen-targeted retail store Urban Outfitters was selling merchandise made to look like prescription pill bottles. We and many of our parent partners felt that these products made light of prescription drug misuse and abuse, a dangerous behavior that is responsible for more deaths in the United States each year than heroin and cocaine combined. We urged our supporters, online communities, partners and the public at large to ask Urban Outfitters to remove the products from their stores and website.
After nearly a month and a half of our advocacy efforts, Urban Outfitters made the responsible decision to pull the prescription pill bottle-themed products from their stores
FUNDING OUR MISSION:
The Second Annual All-Star Tasting
On June 26, 2013, we hosted our second annual All-Star Tasting – a fundraising event that brought together fan-favorite professional athletes and All-Star chefs for an evening of good fun and great food.
More than 200 attendees joined us in Manhattan’s intimate Astor Center, meeting athletes, sampling food and participating in an auction. Distinguished guests included international soccer star Jozy Altidore, former NBA athlete Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins and NHL great Ken Daneyko. Attendees sampled food from eight different tasting stations manned by All-Star chefs like Thiago Silva and Mike Carrino. VIP guests attended a special demonstration lead by Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini.
NATIONAL RESEARCH & PANEL:
Marijuana: It’s Legal, Now What?
In spring 2013, we conducted an independent, nationally representative survey and found that parents who support marijuana legalization expect strict regulation of its availability to kids.
We brought together key influentials in the state of Colorado, where marijuana has become legal for recreational use, to begin a national conversation about the country’s changing attitudes and laws regarding marijuana.
Marijuana: It’s Legal, Now What? consisted of a panel discussion informed by new research we released on national attitudes about various aspects of marijuana legalization. One of the most discussed findings? While 40 percent of adults say they are in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, a majority of them oppose any form of legal marijuana for use among kids and teens.
The panel was moderated by Holly Phillips, MD, CBS News Contributor, and panelists included Cheryl Healton, former President and CEO of the American Legacy Foundation; Thomas McLellan, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of the Treatment Research Institute; Colorado Attorney
6 2013 Annual Report Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
General John Suthers; Christian Thurstone, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Denver Health/University of Colorado; and Brian Vicente, Esq., Founding Partner of Vicente Sederberg and Executive Director of Sensible Colorado.
Above the Influence
The Partnership became the national program lead on Above the Influence (ATI), a popular, effective, teen-targeted drug and alcohol prevention movement. More than 80 percent of teens are aware of the ATI brand, and its active Facebook community boasts more than 1.8 million. Its positive impact has been documented in peer-reviewed journals such as the American Journal of Public Health.
We now conduct all national youth outreach, including advertising, social media and campaign websites. In October 2013, we premiered a new ATI television spot, co-created by a teen, as part of a special campaign called “Made By Me.”
Parent Support Network
To expand the positive impact of our Parents Toll-Free Helpline (1-855-DRUGFREE), we launched the Parent Support Network (PSN). The PSN is a free, confidential service providing peer-to-peer support by trained Parent Coaches to other families who are struggling with a teen or young adult’s substance abuse issues. The Parent Coaches are volunteers trained in techniques based on Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training (CRAFT), an evidence-based approach to improving family outcomes related to substance use. Successfully into its pilot phase, a team of Parent Coaches has been trained and is already at work, supporting a diverse array of families.
TACKLING AN EPIDEMIC:
Media Campaign: MIND YOUR MEDS
The Medicine Abuse Project, our national movement to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine by the year 2017, collaborated with Boston-based advertising agency Hill Holliday. Designed to drive people to safeguard their medicines, the “MIND YOUR MEDS” campaign includes TV, print, radio, digital and outdoor public service messages. All creative, media and talent was donated to bring this campaign to life.
The TV spots were directed by actor/director Eric Stoltz (“Mask,” “Pulp Fiction”). Stoltz also provided the voiceover for the TV and radio spots.
The PSAs, “Reflections-Mom,” and “Reflections- Grandpa” were honored with a Gold Lion at the first-ever 2014 Lions Health Awards. A full report on our 2013 Medicine Abuse Project activities and accomplishments can be viewed on our website.
Medication-Assisted Treatment e-Book
In December 2013, The Partnership launched a comprehensive new digital resource that helps parents better understand the potential life-saving benefits of medication-assisted treatment. The advanced online tool is comprised of videos, testimonials and an eBook. Our goal is 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.
Parents will learn what medication-assisted treatment is, whether it’s the right treatment option for their family member and how it can be accessed.