This webinar focuses on universal and primary prevention efforts to address prescription drug misuse and abuse; and the use of innovative analytic techniques to evaluate their effectiveness.
The current response to the opioid epidemic has appropriately focused on treatment and the prevention of overdose deaths. Prescription drug misuse (PDM) among young people is the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States; after alcohol, prescription drugs are second only to marijuana as the drugs most abused by teens. PDM refers to the use of licit drugs to treat pain, attention deficit disorder, or anxiety without a prescription; in a way other than prescribed; or because of the feelings the drugs may elicit (National Institutes of Health, 2011). In 2011, youth age 12–24 accounted for approximately 23% of emergency room visits involving nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals. Since 2003, more deaths have been due to opioid analgesic overdoses than to heroin and cocaine combined.