Guest Blog: Combating Prescription Drug Abuse Among Teens

We are very pleased to have Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at as our guest blogger today.

As any New York community leader probably already knows, the incidence of prescription drug abuse across America has reached epidemic levels. Right now one in six teens has intentionally abused a medicine to get high or alter their mood, and to combat this problem we need to focus on where the problem starts – our children. That’s why we founded The Medicine Abuse Project, which kicks off next week September 23-29.

Parents need to know how medicines are being abused, what they should do to safeguard those products and how to dispose of them properly. To help educate parents and communities, The Medicine Abuse Project was founded in collaboration with several prominent patient advocacy organizations and companies who are committed to the same cause.

I have a big goal for the next five years – I want to see half a million teens on track to live healthy, productive lives, without the risk of medicine abuse. We need help reaching this goal. If you want to help, look over our calendar of kick-off events for next week’s launch of The Medicine Abuse Project and get involved in the conversation within your own community.

Over the next five years, it’s crucial that communities play an active role in this effort – we need families, health care professionals, educators, law enforcement, government officials, pharmaceutical companies, associations and coalition leaders all working together in a sustained effort.  Next week’s activities, listed below, are part of that coalition of leadership, but we can always use more help.


The Medicine Abuse Project LIVE: iVillage Twitter chat – 8 p.m. ET: Bob Barnett (@iVillage), Health Director of Brand Integration, will host featured guests from The Partnership at, including Steve Pasierb (@StevePasierb), President and CEO, and Jerry Otero (@MedicineAbuse), Lead Parent Support Specialist for the Parents Toll-Free Helpline. The discussion will highlight the growing problem of teen medicine abuse and what parents can do. Follow the live chat on Twitter using #endmedicineabuse.


The Medicine Abuse Project LIVE: Grand Central Exhibit, New York City – 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. ET: A compelling, digital exhibit taking place in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will feature personal stories about medicine abuse in a visually engaging story-telling installation. NYC commuters and visitors will be encouraged to take a Pledge to take action against medicine abuse, share their medicine abuse stories via social media and interact with the stories of other families who have been affected by this critical health issue.


The Medicine Abuse Project LIVE: “Hope For Recovery” Webinar– 12 p.m. ET:The Partnership at and A&E Networks will host a webinar focused on recovery from medicine abuse. Taking place at The Newseum in Washington, D.C., featured panelists will include: Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); Jeff VanVonderen, an Interventionist from A&E’s hit television reality show Intervention; Dr. Bertha Madras, PhD, Professor of Pyschobiology, Chair of the Division of Neurochemistry and Associate Director for Public Education in the Division of Addictions, Harvard Medical School; and Sofia, a young adult in recovery who will share her personal story of teen medicine abuse.


The Medicine Abuse Project LIVE: Meet The Parents Hour – 12 p.m. ET: Taking place on The Partnership at’s Facebook timeline, participants can join a live, one-hour chat and Q&A session with actor and model Amber Smith (“Celebrity Rehab”) to discuss her personal story of addiction and recovery.


Drug Enforcement Administration-Facilitated National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day–10 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Consumers can safely dispose of their unused medications at sites around the country operated by local law enforcement partners. Find a Take-Back location near you.

By Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at

-Jaime Venditti, 9/26/12