Educate Communities to Prevent First-Time Use and Misuse
Return to Opioid Top-Level Strategy Map
One of the most effective tools we have to stop substance use disorder is to prevent people, especially young people, from ever starting to use substances in the first place.
The risk of a parent’s prescription drugs getting to their children is a real concern that must be
addressed by any prevention effort. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids states “Two-thirds of teens and
young adults who report abuse of prescription medicine are getting it from friends, family and
acquaintances. Make sure the young people in your life don’t have access to any medications in your
home. Follow these three steps to monitor, secure and properly dispose of unused and expired
prescription and over-the-counter medicine in your home.” According to the 2017 NSDUH Annual
National Report: “ An estimated 316,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 misused prescription pain relievers
for the first time in 2017 -- that’s 900 adolescents each day.  Approximately 217,000 adolescents aged 12
to 17, misused prescription stimulants for the first time in 2017 – that’s 600 adolescents each day.”
Understanding how to keep your prescription medications safe is essential to preventing youth from
being able to access them.
Tools and Resources
The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids provides resources on how to address medicine abuse 
Promising Practices and Case Studies
- “Safeguard Against Medicine Abuse: Securing and Disposing Medications.” Where Families Find Answers on Substance Use | Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, drugfree.org/article/secure- dispose-of-medicine-properly/.