Abbott Labs' Online Effort Addresses Teen Rx Abuse

Abbot Labs and Partnership for a Drug-Free AmericaWhile parents have been well-schooled about how to talk to their kids about illicit drugs, Abbott Labs and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America have teamed up for an effort to address the possibility of teens abusing prescription medications.

The cornerstone of the effort is a, aimed at educating parents about the growing trend of prescription drug abuse by teens, including talking points that parents can use to explain the dangers of mixing unknown medications and vulnerability to addiction. The site also includes some steps that parents can take, such as keeping an inventory of prescription medications in the home, securing prescriptions in out-of-the-way places and disposing of unused and unneeded prescriptions.

"Prescription medicines have an important role in health care, but they have significant risks when they are misused and abused," said Jeff Haas, general manager of pain care for Abbott, in a statement. "Abbott and the partnership have developed the 'Not in My House," education initiative to help teach parents the importance of securing medications in their homes to help protect their children."



The effort, which launched earlier this week, is centered mostly on public relations and education efforts through parenting media, Web sites and blogs, Hallie Deaktor, a representative of the partnership, tells Marketing Daily. While the Web site includes video of teens reaching into a medicine cabinet and emptying prescription bottles (with messages such as "Today, 2,500 teens will abuse these for the first time" and "Does your conversation about drugs include these?"), there are no current plans to turn the video into television advertising, Deaktor says.

Abbott, the maker of Vicodin, is clearly identified as a sponsor of the site. "They are being socially responsible," says Deaktor. The company has signed on to the awareness effort through 2009, she says.

According to a 2007 survey, 15% of teens who said they abused prescription drugs said they got them from their own home, while 11% said they got them from a parent or relative. Twenty-four percent said they got them from friends.

"Once we got a look at what was happening, we started to build an initiative to start addressing the program and educating parents about talking about prescription drugs when they talk about alcohol and drugs," says DeAnna DuBose, a representative for the company.

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