Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities, a consortium of coalitions and youth serving agencies, in Bucks County, Pa., has been named the Dose of Prevention award winner by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization representing over 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions across the country, and the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), which represents the leading makers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. This prestigious award recognizes community-based organizations that have implemented successful strategies to raise awareness of the dangers of the over-the-counter cough medicine abuse and prescription drug abuse.
Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities will receive their award on Feb. 7 during CADCA’s 23rd Annual National Leadership Forum, taking place Feb. 4-7 at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation's largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, attracting more than 2500 community and state leaders from across the country.
The abuse of medicines – both prescription and over-the-counter products – continues to be a major problem throughout the country. The misuse of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to get high usually involves medicines that contain the cough-suppressant dextromethorphan, with many teens intentionally taking large doses of these medicines in order to get high. According to the 2012 Monitoring the Future Survey, 3 percent of eighth graders, 4.7 percent of tenth graders, and 5.6 percent of twelfth graders have abused OTC cough medicines containing the active ingredient dextromethorphan to get high over the past year. In addition, 21.2 percent of twelfth graders indicated using at least one prescription drug in their lifetime, without a doctor’s orders, while 14.8 percent indicated such use in the past year.
The Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities exemplifies the spirit of CADCA’s Dose of Prevention Award for its comprehensive approach to help raise awareness of the abuse of medicines – both prescription and OTC – in their community. They held a medicine take back event to allow local residents to drop off unused, unwanted and expired medications and to educate the community about over-the-counter cough medicine abuse and prescription drug abuse, by distributing literature and conducing the exit surveys. The group also held a town hall meeting to spur discussions among youth and adults in the community about medicine abuse and placed lock boxes throughout the county to allow for disposal of prescription medicines year round. Bucks Promise also worked with youth leaders to distribute nearly 8,000 brochures about the dangers of OTC cough medicine abuse to school nurses, school counselors and physical education teachers in schools throughout the county.
“As we work toward curbing teen cough medicine abuse, education and community engagement continue to be our most valuable tools, which is why we are glad that organizations like Bucks Promise for Youth and Communities are working hard to prevent and reduce the misuse and abuse of these products,” said Gen. Arthur T. Dean, CADCA Chairman & CEO.
Congratulations to the BPYC Consortium for work well done!