Key Statistics

The Medicine Abuse Project

  • Goal is to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine within five years
  • Brings together parents, educators, coaches, health care providers, government, law enforcement officials and other partners to help save lives by preventing teen medicine abuse
  • Calls on people to take a Pledge at “As a [Parent/Grandparent I Health Care Provider I Community Leader I Educator], I pledge to learn about teen medicine abuse, to safeguard my medicines and to talk to the teens I know about this issue.”
  • People can participate in the global conversation and share personal stories using the hashtag #endmedicineabuse and following @MedicineAbuse on Twitter
  • Will launch September 23 – 29, 2012 and continue as a multi-year, national action campaign

Rx for California
Prescription Drug Tip Sheet
Letter From Laura E. Duffy
Letter From U.S. Attorney
Laura Duffy

Teen Medicine Abuse: A Growing Epidemic

  • One in six teens has used a prescription drug (when a doctor had not prescribed it for them) in order to get high or change their mood, and most have gotten it from family or friends. (2011 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation)
  • More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by prescription painkiller overdoses. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC])
  • One person dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose in the United States, and this increasing trend is driven by prescription painkillers. (CDC)
  • Prescription medicines are now the most commonly abused drugs among 12 to 13 year olds. (National Survey on Drug Use and Health [NSDUH])
  • Two-thirds of teens who abuse pain relievers say they got them from family members or friends. (NSDUH)
  • Opioid pain relievers are responsible for more overdose deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. (CDC)
  • Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually. (Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, 2007)
  • Emergency department visits involving misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals has more than doubled between 2004 and 2010. (Drug Abuse Warning Network [DAWN] Report, 2010)

Partners and Sponsors

Below is a selected list of strategic partners, federal partners and funders for The Medicine Abuse Project. A full list can be found at

  • American Academy of Family Physicians
  • American College of Emergency Room Physicians
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
  • U.S. Attorneys’ Offices
  • National Association of School Nurses
  • National Narcotics Officers Association Coalition
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

Justice 101

Community Outreach

Victim Witness Assistance
Learn about victim notification and rights, witness information, and helpful resources.

Project Safe Childhood
Project Safe Neighborhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.

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