Following a recent study released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) that showed a spike in teen abuse of prescription drugs and methamphetamine, Arizona has launched two campaigns aimed at curbing the recent surge.
The first targets prescription drug abuse, which 20% of teens report using on a regular basis. According to the PDFA, more 12-17 year olds get high on prescription and over-the-counter drugs than on cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy combined. One reason cited is the widespread availability of such “medicine cabinet drugs;” another is the perception among teens that these legal drugs are safer. In addition, the study concludes, parents often overlook addressing over-the-counter and prescription drugs when talking to their children about drug abuse.
The second campaign focuses on curbing methamphetamine abuse among Latinos, whose usage is double that of their White and Black counterparts. The campaign will have a Spanish-language component, which the PDFA hopes will increase awareness among non-English speaking and Spanish-dominant Latinos.