March 16, 2010 —

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has released the results of its 21st annual Partnership/MetLife Foundation Attitude Tracking Survey (PATS). This year’s results show increases in the teen abuse rates of ecstasy, marijuana, and alcohol, as well as an overall decline in the way teens’  negatively perceive many drugs.

Fortunately, the results do show that OTC cough medicine abuse rates among teenagers have remained relatively flat over the last few years. While this may be good news, the other findings in the study are disappointing, and remind us that we need to talk to our teens about medicine abuse.  Working together, we can help raise awareness about the dangers of substance abuse. We need to continue to educate ourselves and other parents about the problem, monitor our medicine cabinets so that we know exactly which medicines we have and how much medicine is in each bottle or package, and talk with teens and preteens about the risks of medicine abuse.

Use these survey results as a starting point in your conversations with other parents, school administrators, and any others who influence our teens and direct them to the Stop Medicine Abuse site to get free information and resources for talking with teens about substance issues. The more people we spread this information to, the better.

I hope that all of you join us as we continue to raise awareness about teen drug abuse. Encourage your friends to join our Stop Medicine Abuse Facebook page or follow us on Twitter to connect with other parents and spread awareness about how we can stop it.