AAOMS a Proud Partner in the Medicine Abuse Project

September 23rd, 2012

The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) is a proud partner in the Partnership at Drugfree.org and participant in the partnership's latest initiative, The Medicine Abuse Project, September 23-29, 2012. The project is intended as a multi-year campaign to raise both consumer and provider awareness and curb the abuse of medicine.

From evening news headlines to TV series' storylines, tales of teen and young adult abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications have become commonplace in living rooms across the country. Unfortunately, the tales are all too grounded in reality; teen medicine abuse is one of this country's biggest drug problems, affecting one in six teens in the United States.(1) The behavior begins in adolescence, with more than 2,000 teens using a prescription drug to get high for the first time each day.(2) Today, as a result of these high levels of prescription drug abuse, drug overdoses have surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States.(3) In addition to the high human toll, the healthcare costs related to this behavior are estimated at more than $72 billion annually.(4)

The Medicine Abuse Project has brought together a diverse group of public and private sector partners in a national education campaign and call to action to stop the abuse. Partners include federal institutions, pharmaceutical companies, treatment and rehabilitation centers, and healthcare provider organizations such as AAOMS.

The Medicine Abuse Project encourages everyone to take two important steps: talk to the young people in their lives about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medications; and properly dispose of unused medications during the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Take-back Day on September 29, 2012.

Visit http://medicineabuseproject.org to learn more. Follow the Project on Twitter at @MedicineAbuse and #endmedicineabuse.

(1) 2011 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, sponsored by MetLife Foundation
(2) United States Drug Enforcement Administration
(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(4) Coalition Against Insurance Fraud