WASHINGTON — The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association on Tuesday joined forces to honor the Bucks County, Pa.-based Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities with this year’s Dose of Prevention award. This award recognizes community-based organizations that have implemented successful initiatives to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse and OTC cough medicine abuse.
“While prescription and over-the-counter medicines are safe and necessary for many people, too many teens are abusing these drugs to get high," stated Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA chairman and CEO. "That’s why we’re glad to recognize Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities, which is utilizing a comprehensive approach to educate and address medicine abuse in their community.”
According to the "2012 Monitoring the Future Survey," 3% of eighth-graders, 4.7% of 10th-graders and 5.6% of 12th-graders have abused OTC cough medicines containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan to get high over the past year. Teens report getting many of these medicines from home medicine cabinets and mistakenly believe that abusing them is “safer” than other drugs.
The survey also found that 21.2% of 12th-graders indicated using at least one prescription drug in their lifetime, without a doctor’s orders, while 14.8% indicated such use in the past year.
The Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities exemplifies the spirit of CADCA’s Dose of Prevention Award for its comprehensive approach to help raise awareness of the abuse of medicines in their community. They held a medicine take-back event to allow local residents to drop off unused, unwanted and expired medications and to educate the community about the dangers of medicine abuse. The group also held a town hall meeting to spur community discussions about medicine abuse and placed lock boxes throughout the county to allow for disposal of prescription medicines year round. Bucks Promise also worked with youth leaders to distribute nearly 8,000 brochures about the dangers of OTC cough medicine abuse to school nurses, school counselors and physical education teachers in schools throughout the county.
“Parents have the power to prevent OTC cough medicine abuse, and that prevention begins with educating parents and communities about this problem," said Scott Melville, CHPA president and CEO. "The efforts of the Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities demonstrate how local coalitions drive awareness, and we applaud their effort to bring this issue to the forefront in their community."
The group will receive its award on Feb. 7 during CADCA’s 23rd Annual National Leadership Forum, taking place Feb. 4 to 7, 2013, at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.