Substance abuse is the single greatest preventable health issue in the country, yet addiction takes a devastating toll on millions of families every year. Today, 11 million of America's teens and young adults are struggling with drugs or alcohol, but unlike most other adolescent health issues or diseases, parents haven’t found a clear path to resources and support for teen addiction.
- Every day 2,500 teens abuse a prescription drug for the first time. (SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009)
- Teens rank the issue of drugs, smoking and drinking as the most important problem they face. (Gallup Poll, 2006, Drunks, Smoking, Alcohol Most Important Problem Facing Teens)
- Parents perceive drugs and alcohol as the most important issue facing teens today. (Horowitz Associates, 2009)
- The estimated costs associated with illicit drug are $280 billion including costs from crime, loss of productivity, healthcare, incarceration, and drug enforcement operation costs. (Volkow, ND & Li, TK, 2005)
Parents also question how effective they’ll be if their child has a problem with drugs or alcohol with less than one-third feeling confident that they could do something to stop it. And when they are ready to act, they feel alone and don’t know where to turn for help.
Understanding parents’ need for resources and support, The Partnership at Drugfree.org (formerly The Partnership for a Drug-Free America) has evolved beyond prevention-focused advertising and programs to become a reliable partner and online community for families seeking guidance on teen drug and alcohol use.
Research from The Partnership at Drugfree.org also showed that when discovering what the organization does, an overwhelming majority of parents (94 percent) with children ages 10-17 would consider it valuable to those with kids at risk of using drugs and drinking. With this learning, and grounded in more than a year of quantitative and qualitative research, the 25-year-old nonprofit changed its name to embrace the concept of partnership and point parents to where they can find the important tools and resources to help them be more effective in preventing or stopping teen drug and alcohol use.
By focusing on families, working at the grassroots level and embracing the power of the web to communicate and connect, the organization is helping parents prevent, intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children. Its new website features interactive tools, compelling videos, engaging blogs, comprehensive e-books and burgeoning online communities to be the online ‘public square’ where parents can support, learn from and encourage one another.
With a new name, logo, brand positioning and website, public service announcements were developed to reintroduce the organization as a partner to parents. The spots underscored that parents with teens struggling with addiction are not alone, drawing a connection to the availability of resources at drugfree.org.
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