The amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. increased nearly four times from 1999 to 2010 (CDC), yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. (Chang, H., American Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2014). Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications are the most commonly abused substances after marijuana and alcohol for Americans over the age of 13 (National Institute on Drug Abuse). In 2013, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) found that nearly 18 percent of U.S. high school students had taken prescription medications without a prescription at least once. Teens and young adults are especially at risk of abusing prescription medications because they are widely available, free or inexpensive, and falsely believed to be safer than illicit drugs.
This resource guide provides links to organizations, programs, publications, and resources focused on prescription drug overdose prevention among youth and young adults. It is divided into six sections: (1) Organizations, (2) Policy and Legislation, (3) Current Prevention Programs and Resources, (4) Publications, (5) Children’s Safety Network (CSN) Webinars, and (6) Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Publications. Each item in this resource guide includes a short description and a link to the resource itself. Descriptions of organizations, reports, guides, toolkits, campaigns, websites, and initiatives are, in most cases, excerpted from the resources themselves, while descriptions of research studies are excerpted from the study abstracts.