If you could do one thing that would help your child, student or employee live a healthier life and develop to his or her fullest potential, would you do it? If you answered "yes," then begin by discussing the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, illegal drugs and prescription drug abuse. Communities, small businesses and families are suffering in these areas.
Illegal Drug Abuse
The average age for kids to begin experimenting with illegal substances is 12. On average, kids found by their parents to be using drugs, have been using for two years prior to discovery. 60 percent of youngsters who use marijuana before age 15 go on to use cocaine. The potency of marijuana THC levels is 15-20 times stronger than marijuana in the 1970s. Kids who smoke marijuana are 85 times more likely to use cocaine than their non-marijuana smoking peers. Several states are enacting Parental Responsibility Laws in which the parent is held responsible for the behavior of the child. Most medical insurance policies have a clause that allows them to not pay a medical claim "if there is an illegal substance in the system, or an illegal act is being performed at the time of the loss." Parents can be held legally responsible for those bills. Average cost of drug rehabilitation is $20,000 - $30,000 a month, with few, if any medical insurers paying anything on such a claim.
Prescription Drug Abuse
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Prescription drugs that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high; more Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens like LSD, and inhalants (sniffed household products) combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends with the biggest offender being the home medicine cabinet.
Deaths in crashes involving drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08+ dropped in 2010, but despite this decrease, there were still 10,228 lives lost - that's one person every 51 minutes. Though the drunk driving prevention campaign has been very successful, research showed that many people thought the messages to be targeted at overtly drunk drivers, and not them. When decision time came, they would consider themselves merely "buzzed" and get behind the wheel. PSAs created to address this gap were released in 2005 to inspire recognition of the dangers of "buzzed" driving and to motivate people to stop driving buzzed. The next installment expanded on this message, equating buzzed driving and drunk driving and demonstrating the devastating consequences that can occur. The most recent work focuses on the financial consequences specifically. You can be fined $10,000 if you blow above the legal limit. The overall campaign hopes to educate people that consuming even a few drinks can impair driving and that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.