During my many years of working in the substance abuse field, I have seen the rise and fall of many different trends. In recent years, teen prescription (Rx) drug abuse has been of significant concern. The trend towards Rx drug abuse has been supported by national data sources indicating that one in four high school students has taken a prescription medication that was not prescribed for them by a doctor, and more teens abuse prescription drugs than illegal drugs, with the exception of marijuana.
In my work with the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), I have been fortunate to assist school nurses in responding to the concern of Rx drug abuse impacting students. In 2007, NASN and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., teamed up to create Smart Moves, Smart Choices (SMSC). As an effort to raise national awareness, the SMSC initiative has been informing parents, teens, and educators about teen prescription drug abuse and its serious risks. Smart Moves, Smart Choices features a website and educational videos. The multi-faceted initiative also offers a tool kit that enables educators to hold school assemblies about teen prescription drug abuse in their communities.