Café Prevention Raises Awareness of Teen Prescription and OTC Medicine Abuse

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Prescription and over the counter (OTC) medicine abuse among teens is on the rise. As a result, Café Prevention has raised awareness and develops drug prevention resources in the form of posters and postcards to help communities combat these issues.

It will come as no surprise to those in the prevention arena, or those that work with youth, that teen prescription and over the counter (OTC) medicine abuse continues to escalate and poses a significant threat to the safety and well being of our children. Café Prevention ( aims to help address this issue through the new release of posters and postcards targeting teens, as well as a second postcard targeting adults and parents on the dangers of prescription and OTC medicine abuse.

With titles such as "A Safer High?" and "The Problem is Not Always This Obvious," these new, eye-catching and hard hitting drug abuse prevention materials are designed to provide factual and user-friendly information to help raise the level of awareness among both parents and teens.

Café Prevention works to provide community coalitions, schools, civic and health organizations, as well as youth organizations and ministries with prevention education resources on underage drinking information, gangs and youth violence prevention programs, substance abuse facts, and ways to encourage teen resiliency. Each of Café Prevention's drug and alcohol awareness materials, including their most recently created postcards and posters are affordable and compelling; thus, enabling community partnerships and those who work with youth to easily obtain these resources that help reduce youth engagement in negative behaviors and encourage teens to reach their highest potential.

The latest drug prevention posters and postcards developed by Café Prevention are critical in raising the awareness of prescription and over the counter drug abuse. Studies report that 1 in 5 teens are abusing prescription medicines and 1 in 10 are abusing cough and cold medicines to get high. According to SAMHSA, there are as many first time new abusers, ages12 and over, of prescription drugs as there are marijuana users. Many teens feel that abuse of prescription and OTC medicines are less harmful than alcohol or illegal drugs and are a safer way to relieve anxiety, depression, and/or help them feel "good" or less stressed. However, there are very real risks to misusing these medicines, resulting in overdose or even death.

However, prescription medicine abuse and the use of OTC medicines to get high by teens is not yet really on the radar screen of most adults, but it needs to be. Fortunately, with Café Prevention's new posters and postcards, communities are able to begin increasing awareness around this issue. The posters are the perfect size to be displayed in schools, physician's offices, youth serving organizations, and elevators. On the other hand, the convenient postcard format allows them to be easily mailed to parents or handed out in a variety of settings including libraries, workplaces, PTA's, health fairs, sports events, faith congregations, and emergency rooms - the possibilities are endless.

Teens are attracted to pharmaceuticals since they are legal and easy to obtain from home medicine cabinets, family members, friends, and over the Internet, or in the case of cough and cold medicines, right in their local grocery or convenience store. They are also cheaper than illegal drugs. Furthermore, youth often bring pills to school and trade them, and 'pharming' parties - the trading of prescription and cough and cold pills that are then ingested by the handful and oftentimes mixed with alcohol - are more common that one might think.

Designed to deliver critical information in an engaging format, the latest materials, in addition to the extensive resources available on Cafe, form the basis for many educational campaigns in communities around the country. Cafe is a community's source for high quality prevention materials designed to improve the health and well-being of our youth. For more information or to place an order, please visit


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Melissa Haddow - Executive Director
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