National drug and alcohol facts week: Prescription medications

National Alcohol and Drug Abuse Facts Week is an annual program to help educate a segment of our population most susceptible to developing drug and alcohol abuse disorders – adolescents. The program, hosted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), helps to bring facts from robust and vetted resources to help raise awareness and debunk myths, all in an effort to spread awareness to teens, educators, and families alike.

People may use prescription medications for recreational purposes, and not for specific ailments, as evidenced by the spike in emergency room visits and overdose deaths associated with prescription drugs. For that reason, heightened awareness can help educate adolescents and adults of the dangers posed if prescription drugs are misused. Programs like the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Take Back Day collect unused medications to keep them out of the hands of people who may abuse them.