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CVS Pharmacy Joins Battle Against Teens and Misusing Medications

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The plan: keep more than 500,000 teenagers from experimenting and abusing prescription medicines illegally from now through 2017. The tools: encourage more organizations across multiple sectors to join up with "The Medicine Abuse Project," and help them share information about how dangerous teen prescription and medicine abuse is – along with the reality that most teenagers find medications to abuse in their own homes.

The Partnership at Drugfree.org is already gathering new members for the cause, including CVS Caremark. CVS Caremark is a national pharmacy company and spokesperson’s have said they feel it is part of their shared role to help people learn more about how easy it is for a teen (or anyone) to abuse a medication.

Research from a recent article highlights the need for intervention as more than 16 percent of teens are believed to have experimented illegally with prescription medications.

Not only are teens at immediate danger of serious health problems or even death when they misuse or abuse medications, they are also at risk of developing a long-term prescription drug abuse problem or addiction.

A key element of the Medicine Abuse Project work focuses on helping parents relay safety messages to their teens, and getting families to be vigilant about properly doing away with medications they’re not using.

A national day set aside for people to return partially used, expired and unused prescription medications is also planned with several partners of the initiative.

Nearly any medication can be abused by teens, but pain medications like OxyContin or Vicodin carry an especially high risk. Stimulants such as Adderall and other medications for attention-deficit disorders are also frequently abused, and can have life-threatening side effects.

Even cough syrups and cold medications are rising in numbers in terms of abuse among teens, medications most often found at home.

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