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Colorado Initiative Addresses Prescription Drug Abuse Among Teens

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A new campaign in Colorado, to be unveiled Wednesday, aims to reduce prescription drug abuse among teens, The Denver Post reports.

The campaign, called Rise Above Colorado, includes educational programs and outreach efforts. It builds on the experience of the Colorado Meth Project, the article notes. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Attorney General John Suthers are supporting the effort.

“We wanted to respond to the changing drug landscape,” Rise Above Colorado Executive Director Kent MacLennan told the newspaper. “We will communicate with teens on a science and fact basis. We won’t be preachy. We will present facts in an honest way.”

More than 29 percent of high school seniors in Colorado have taken prescription medication without a doctor’s prescription, according to a survey conducted by Rise Above Colorado and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Nationwide, that figure is 25.6 percent. Teens in the state say prescription drugs are easier to get than beer. The survey found 42 percent of teens in Colorado said it was easy to get prescription medications from their parents’ medicine cabinets.

Last week, Ohio announced a new initiative to encourage parents to speak with their children about the dangers of drug abuse. The initiative, called Start Talking, is designed to deliver information about drug abuse to middle and high school students. The campaign aims to make adults more confident in speaking to children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

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