Federal data from a national survey of 8th, 10th and 12th graders show that prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the commonly abused illicit drugs by high school seniors, after marijuana. The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a component of the National Institutes of Health that supports the annual study, has launched a national public awareness initiative called PEERx, a prescription drug abuse prevention campaign for teens.
The centerpiece of the online initiative is Choose Your Path, a unique video activity that allows teens to assume the role of the main character and confront real-life decisions, select which path to take, and then watch the consequences unfold onscreen.
Other free PEERx resources for teens and educators include:
- An Activity Guide to help teens engage peers in their school or community
- Peer Into Your Path, a creative writing project based on Choose Your Path
- Free, colorful downloads that can be made into iron-on decals for t-shirts, posters, computer wallpaper, or stickers
- Fact sheets on over-the-counter cough medicines and the three classes of prescription drugs abused most often (opioid painkillers, central nervous system depressants, and stimulants).