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The Problem

Teen medicine abuse is an epidemic - one that is not poised to get better.

More teens are abusing prescription medicine than ever. Findings from the Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, show that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. That is a 33 percent increase since 2008.

One step we can all take is to have frequent conversations with the teens in our lives about the dangers of medicine abuse.

At The Partnership at Drugfree.org, we know that kids who learn about the dangers of drugs and alcohol early and often are much less likely to develop addiction than those who do not receive these critical messages at home. Unfortunately, statistics show that conversations between teens and their parents about medicine abuse are not happening nearly enough, and there is a disconnect between the beliefs of teens and those of parents on this issue. Here's how to have frequent conversations with teens.

Parents play an incredibly important role when it comes to preventing medicine abuse.

Parents, it is important that parents monitor, safeguard and properly dispose of the medicines they keep at home as more than four in ten teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug has taken it right out of their parent’s medicine cabinet. Kids who abuse medicine are starting early. In fact, one in five kids has done so before the age of 14. Parents are the first line of defense in protecting teens from this dangerous behavior.

What you can do to help solve the problem:

1. Learn more about teen medicine abuse by viewing the 2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study Findings

2. Learn how to talk to your teen about medicine abuse

3. Learn how to safeguard the medicines in your home

4. Learn how to properly dispose of medicine in your home, and find a take-back location near you

5. Take the Pledge to help end medicine abuse