May 21, 2009
New Partnership Research: More Parents Aware of Teen Rx Drug Abuse. Are You?
A new national study of parents’ attitudes about teen drug abuse released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and the MetLife Foundation shows strong increases in parents’ awareness of teen abuse of prescription medications.
The 14th annual Parents Attitude Tracking Study (PATS) revealed that the number of parents who mistakenly believe that abusing prescription medicines is “much safer” than using illicit street drugs dropped by nearly half in a single year’s time — from 19 percent in 2007 to just ten percent in 2008. Major progress was also reported regarding beliefs about the addictive potential of some prescription medicines when misused. In 2007, 24 percent of parents believed that intentional abuse of prescription medicines would not be addictive. In 2008, that number decreased significantly to 11 percent.
This heightened awareness has not yet resulted in an increase in the number of parents talking with their kids about the risks of prescription drug abuse, although the study did show that parent-teen discussions about the risks of abusing over-the-counter cough medicine have increased nearly 18 percent, with 65 percent of parents reporting these discussions, versus 55 percent in 2007.