SAN DIEGO (Feb. 3, 2015) – Millennium Health, a leading health solutions company, today announced the launch of the ‘Drop Them Off’ campaign, in partnership with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’ Medicine Abuse Project. Designed to increase awareness of the problem of youth misuse and abuse of prescription medicine, the campaign intends to educate parents and youth on how to properly use, store, and dispose of prescription medications by dropping them off at appropriate collection sites among other methods, to reduce access and opportunity for misuse or abuse. Educational content will be available online (www.DropThemOff.com) and through curriculum delivered through the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundations’ community-based partners. Millennium Health is a Silver Sponsor of the Medicine Abuse Project, a campaign that aims to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine by 2017.
“Work with our physician customers has made clear the problem of prescription medicine misuse and the social and financial costs involved. The future of our youth is vital to the health of our local communities, and we are determined to help youths and the adults in their lives learn about the issue, and take steps to reduce the risk,” said Brock Hardaway, chief executive officer of Millennium Health. “We are excited to collaborate with these two outstanding partners to make an impact and save lives.”
Misuse and abuse of prescription medicine has risen dramatically in recent years, especially amongst teens. According to the 2013 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study sponsored by MetLife Foundation and released by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids:
- Almost one in four teens reports misusing or abusing a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime. One in six reports doing so within the past year.
- More than one in five teens say parents would not care as much if their teen were caught abusing or misusing prescription drugs, when compared with illicit drugs.
- Almost four in 10 teens who have misused or abused a prescription drug obtained it from their parent’s medicine cabinet.
“Prescription drug abuse can stop teens from reaching their full potential,” said James Wahlberg, executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. “Through our partnership with Millennium Health, we can bring this issue to light in the communities we serve, and help kids and the concerned adults in their lives take concrete steps to safe-keep prescription medications, and better understand the dangers of misuse and abuse.”
The campaign launched www.DropThemOff.com, as the hub of information about the issue and resources for parents, teens and community members. Content includes actionable guidance designed to reduce access and availability of unused and expired prescription medicines, along with discussion guides to drive conversations between youth and adults. Also included in the toolkit are activities to encourage healthy choices and decrease risk-taking behaviors. Video messages recorded by Mark Wahlberg and other prominent celebrities are promoting the campaign using the hashtag #DropThemOff, and encourage viewers to visit the website for information and engagement in the dialogue about this epidemic.
“Given the continued problem of youth abuse of prescription medications and its impact on their lives, Millennium and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation are filling an unmet need for families and teens alike,” said Steve Pasierb, president and chief executive officer of the Partnership for Drug-Free
Kids. “We’re excited to collaborate with Millennium to extend awareness and empower parents to take action and start the dialogue about prescription drug abuse with their children.”
Drop Them Off aims to help educate parents, youth and the public about the dangers of prescription medication misuse and encourage proper use of such medicines. To participate in our effort, go to www.DropThemOff.com.
About The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation
Mark Wahlberg and his family established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation on the belief that no child should be prevented from living up to his or her potential due to financial hardship. The Foundation works to improve the quality of life for teens living in urban communities and distributes funds to support local youth service and enrichment programs nationwide. A life-long member and advocate of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Mark comes from a family of nine children with limited means and spent most of his afternoons and evenings at his local club. He credits a large part of his success to the fact that he was fortunate to spend his free time in a positive and nurturing environment. Visit www.markwahlbergyouthfoundation.org.
The Medicine Abuse Project
Launched in 2012 by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, The Medicine Abuse Project aims to curb the abuse of medicine, the most significant drug problem in the United States today. The campaign encourages parents, stakeholders and the public to take action: first, by talking with their kids about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and over-the-counter cough medicine, and second, by safeguarding and properly disposing of unused medications.
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has made a five-year commitment to this effort, with the goal of preventing half a million teens from abusing prescription drugs. More information can be found at www.drugfree.org/MedicineAbuseProject.