Our Position

Prescription drugs are divided into controlled or non-controlled substances. Controlled substances are scheduled by the United States Food and Drug Administration according to current accepted medical use in the USA, their relative abuse potential, and likelihood of causing dependence when abused.* Non-controlled prescription medications may include blood pressure medication, anti-biotics, insulin, etc. Proper dosage and frequency of use must be determined by an authorized medical professional and distributed by an authorized pharmacist.

Misuse and abuse of prescription medication may include the following: taking an incorrect dose; taking a does at the wrong time; forgetting to take a dose; sharing one’s own prescription medication with someone else, or using someone else’s prescription medication; stopping the medicine too soon; intentionally or unintentionally combining medications resulting in increased dosing, or potentially dangerous medication interactions; taking a medication with the purpose of getting “high”; stealing, forging or illegally selling prescriptions.

*Marijuana used for medical purposes does not currently meet the definition of a prescription drug. Marijuana may be recommended by a medical professional, but dosing, frequency of use, and other prescription criteria are not dictated by a recommendation in the same way as prescription drugs approved by the US FDA.

Our Solutions

Our high level goal is to prevent misuse and abuse of prescription drugs by young people, ages 12-25.

Example Projects:

Collaborate with health system providers to increase safe prescribing practices around opioids, and behavioral health medications such as Adderall, Ritalin and Xanax.

Public awareness campaign promoting the following messages:

  • Rx drugs are dangerous when not used properly—take Rx drugs only as prescribed
  • Don’t share Rx drugs; Secure medications
  • Dispose medications in drop-boxes

Educate parents regarding prescription safety measures in their homes and with young people

Supporting Data

Cause for Hope:

  • 2014 Deschutes County rates of prescription use without a prescription among 8th graders was less than 10%; among 11th graders, it was less than 15%.1
  • Over 84% of Deschutes County middle and high school youth think there is moderate or great risk of harm in using prescription medications without a prescription.2

Cause for Concern:

  • Rates of prescription use without a prescription among 8th and 11th graders have been steadily increasing since 2002 in Deschutes County.3
  • Young people and adults perceive that prescription medications are safer to use without a prescription than other drugs.4
  • 22.6 % of 11th graders in Deschutes County report using prescription drugs without a prescription sometime in their lifetime.5
  • Young people are misusing ADHD to increase academic performance and anti-anxiety drugs relax with friends.6

1Oregon Student Wellness Survey. 2014.

2Oregon Student Wellness Survey. 2014.

3Oregon Health Teens Survey, 2002-2009. Oregon Student Wellness Survey, 2010-2014.

4Community Assessment Key Informant Interviews, Shared Future Coalition, 2016.

5Oregon Student Wellness Survey, 2014.

6Community Assessment Key Informant Interviews, Shared Future Coalition, 2016.

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