Medicine Abuse Awareness Week: Presentation to theNational Rx Abuse Summit April 10, 2012
Real Danger Abusing prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be just as dangerous, addictive andeven deadly as using ‘street’ drugs
Rx/OTC Abuse Every day, 2,500 teensabuse a prescription drug for the first time
Rx/OTC Medicines Being Abused• Rx pain relievers (Vicodin, OxyContin)• Rx stimulants (Adderall, Ritalin)• Rx tranquilizers/sedatives (Xanax, Valium)• OTC cough/cold with ‘DXM’ (Robitussin, Coricidin). Rx cough with codeine. We must address the behavior of intentionally abusing medicines
Medicine Abuse is “Normalized” in Teen Culture• 1 in 3 teens report having a close friend who abuses Rx pain relievers to get high• 1 in 5 report abusing an Rx medicine
Key Factors Driving Teen Medicine Abuse• Misperceptions that abusing medicine is not dangerous (safer than “street drugs”)• Ease of access via medicine cabinets at home or friend’s house, own or other person’s prescriptions
What about parents’ perceptions?• Street drugs are generally considered more dangerous• Parents are less familiar with “pills” – they often have no frame of reference since these types of drugs of abuse didn’t exist in their youth• There’s a lack of urgency around Rx-OTC
Parent/Kid Conversation• Only 1 in 5 (20%) teens report that their parents have never talked to them about alcohol or illegal drugs• Half of teens (51%) say their parents have never talked to them about prescription drug abuse
Prescription Drug Abuse in the Headlines • White House Office of National Drug Control Strategy’s 2011 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan • Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Rx Abuse • Upcoming National Governor’s Association Policy Academy • Congressional Hearings • Top Issue with State Attorneys General • US Attorneys Conferences • CDC ReportEveryone is calling for action andnow we need to mobilize and respond
How Should We Respond To The Crisis? Raising Awareness and Taking Action• Research-based initiative to educate parents, youth, patients, and prescribers is needed to move the needle on medicine abuse behavior and consequences• The Partnership seeks to enlist all major organizations with a stake–and an important role to play–in preventing all categories of medicine abuse to join in a concerted effort and national call to action• All participants will have an opportunity to showcase their work on medicine abuse prevention and join with others to deliver two key messages: – Clean out your medicine cabinets/Secure your medications – Talk to your kids about Rx abuse
CDC statistics on consequences underscore the need for bold action• Rx pain medication overdoses killed nearly 15,000 people in the US in 2008. This is more than 3 times the 4,000 people killed by these drugs in 1999.• Quantity of prescription pain medications sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices was 4 times larger in 2010 than in 1999.• State death rates from drug overdoses (2008 data) ranged from 27 deaths per 100,000 people in New Mexico to 5.5 deaths per 100,000 people in Nebraska.
CDC statistics on consequences underscore the need for bold action• The cost of Rx abuse is estimated to be between $54 and $72.5 BILLION each year. Also, the direct health care costs for people who abuse Rx pain medications are eight times higher than for those who don’t abuse these medications.• And at the same time we are less equipped as a nation to deal with this problem as the national prevention infrastructure is crumbling: • Safe and Drug Free Schools state grant program eliminated • National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign eliminated • SAMHSA block grant to states for prevention programs in jeopardy • States and localities don’t have resources to make up for the lost federal dollars
How Can We Change thePublic’s Behavior Around Medicine Abuse?
Lessons Learned from Past Public Education Efforts on Rx Abuse
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign First Half 2008• Focus on prescription drug abuse – dedicated roughly $14 million between February and July (with media match = approximately $28 million)• Campaign message: There’s a dangerous drug risk to our teens that’s off our radar but under our noses• TV advertising schedule (launching in Super Bowl) supplemented with print advertising, PR and drug chain flyers stapled to prescriptions
National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign First Half 2008• Outreach to healthcare professionals and educators (trade journals, “open letter” newspaper ads) and community organizations, coalitions (CADCA Strategizers)• Heath Ledger dies – January 22, 2008
Television Advertising• Partnership PSA (2007): Parent-targeted message running in pro-bono media • “Who’s More Dead?”• National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign (2008): Parent-targeted messages running in paid media + match • “Drug Dealer” • “All My Pills”
Awareness of Advertising – Teen Rx Abuse Awareness levels from the pre- to post-launch periods more than doubled from the launch of the campaign Up 116% 67% 31% Post-launch Pre-launch N=3,200 N=1,100Q.17: Have you seen any advertising about prescription drug abuse among teens recently? It may have beenanywhere. – Millward Brown Tracking
Parents’ Perceptions – Prevalence of Teen Rx Abuse Among those parents who are aware of advertising, perceptions of the prevalence of teen RX abuse increased significantly from the pre- to post-launch periods Up 10% 85% 77% Pre-launch Post-launch N=1,100 N=3,200Q.19: How prevalent do you believe prescription drug abuse is among teens? - Millward Brown Tracking
Parents’ Beliefs – Rx Abuse is a Serious Problem Among Teens There has been a significant jump among parents who viewed the campaign who now believe that prescription drug abuse is a serious problem among teens Up 17% 59% 49% Pre-launch Post-launch N=1,100 N=3,200Q.11 series: Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem among teens – Agree strongly / somewhatMillward Brown Tracking
Parents’ Likelihood to Take Action Among parents who saw the ads, a significant increase was also seen in intention to take action against teen RX abuse Up 6% Up 13% Up 12% Up 9% 88% 83% 77% 76% 77% 70% 68% 67% Safeguard drugs Monitor prescription Properly dispose of Set clear rules for teens at home drug quantities and old unused medicines about all drug use control access including not sharing medicinesQ.20: In the next month, how likely you are to take the following actions with respect to the prescription medicines inyour home? Zero means that you are extremely unlikely, five means you are neither likely nor unlikely and ten meansthat you are extremely likely to take that action. --- Millward Brown Tracking
Challenges• “Not My Kid” – a perennial challenge (the “disconnect”)• Multiple components to the message: • The dangers of abusing prescription drugs • My kid is at risk • The danger is actually in my medicine cabinet • What can / should parents do? • And a watchout: don’t demonize medicine• There’s a dangerous drug risk to our teens that’s off our radar but under our noses • Danger: the comparison with illegal street drugs • My kid: the innocent schoolboy • Off our radar: the sly appropriation of legitimate medicine for purposes of abuse, trading, selling • Under our nose – print “medicine cabinet” ads
Rx Drugs Used Without Prescription PRESCRIPTION Have Used 28% PARENTS 37% TEENS26a. Have you ever personally used a prescription drug that was not prescribed for you by a doctor?Almost 3 out of 10 parents have taken an Rx drugwithout a prescriptionPartnership Study (2007): Cause for Concern
When it’s OK to give teen Rx drugs 27. In your opinion, in which of the following situations, if any, would be okay for a parent to give their teen a prescription drug that was not prescribed for him/her?One-quarter (27%) believe there are certain situations when itis ok to give an Rx that was not prescribed for him/her Partnership Study (2007): Cause for Concern
Prescription drug given to teen IPTIONS GIVEN TO TEEN25. Have you ever given your teen a prescription drug that was not prescribed for him/her?8% of parents have given their teen an Rx drug without adoctor’s prescriptionPartnership Study (2007): Cause for Concern
Call to Action: Medicine Abuse Awareness WeekOne defined period in the Fall of 2012 inwhich all major organizations with a stake inpreventing medicine abuse will join in anational education effort and call to action.
Medicine Abuse Awareness WeekObjectives: 1) Raise awareness of the Rx abuse problem among the general public, especially parents, and health care professionals 2) Increase communication between parents and teens about the risks of Rx abuse 3) Improve interaction between prescribers, dispensers and patients 4) Improve at-home monitoring of medicine supply 5) Drive safe disposal of unused medicines via a national “takeback” call to action
Medicine Abuse Awareness WeekComponents:1) Dedicated web destination with information and tools for parents, healthcare providers and the general public, and promoting a national take-back day2) Intensive communications blitz aimed at (1) promoting parent-teen conversations about the risks of Rx abuse and (2) promoting monitoring and safe disposal of drugs • Tagging DTC and other advertising • Dedicated Campaign Advertising • Social Media • Point-of-sale education/materials at leading pharmacies • Major PR initiative enlisting government leaders, public health professionals and industry
Medicine Abuse Awareness WeekComponents:3) Prescriber Education Initiative Screeners, prescriber-patient agreements, video materials for waiting rooms, etc.4) National Takeback Day5) Evaluation of Effectiveness
Importance of Large, Broad-Based Effort• All of the organizations represented here today could have a key role in the public relations efforts, prescriber education initiatives and/or takeback day• Having everyone work together would bring the prevention messages to scale and show unity• Good way to promote your organizations ongoing efforts in this area and partner with people in new ways
Strategic Partners• Government Officials (Surgeon General, National Governors Association, US Conference of Mayors, State Legislators, etc.)• Law Enforcement• Medical Professional Organizations• Public Health Organizations• Drug Prevention Organizations
Discussion• How can we get as many groups as possible involved in this national effort?• How can your group participate?• How can we broaden the impact of Medicine Abuse Awareness Week?• Who else should be involved?