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Please consult a licensed health care professional with questions or concerns about your medication and/or condition.

Last Updated
April 19, 2017
"Talk About Prescriptions" Month
October 2009
"Communication is Key!"

Welcome to the National Council on Patient Information and Education's (NCPIE) 24th annual observance of "Talk About Prescriptions" Month (TAP Month). These on-line and downloadable planning materials enable site visitors to plan, organize, and conduct TAP activities in your local community through-out the year not just during the 31 days of October.

Consumers and caregivers are encouraged to download all of these complimentary resources and share them with family members and loved ones.

Please Help Us "TAP" to Better Communication for NCPIE's 24th Annual
"Talk About Prescriptions" Month

Our Theme
What's New for TAP Month 2009
"Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer:
What You Can Do To Help Prevent Teen Prescription Drug Abuse"

Presentation Workshop/PowerPoint and Background Materials

Instructions for Promoting a Local "Key Influencer" Event (Coming Soon)
Additional Resources and Programs from NCPIE Members and Partners You Can Use
Do You Need More Ideas for Observing "TAP" Month?
Revisit "How to Be Medicine Smart™

Previous TAP Observances (online)

Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer

"Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer:
What You Can Do To Help Prevent Teen Prescription Drug Abuse
PowerPoint and Presenter's Guide

This October, NCPIE is pleased to release a new educational resource to help improve the dialogue about medication safety and as a hands-on tool for addressing the growing problem of prescription medicine abuse by teens. Support to develop the program was provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) with additional support for implementation provided by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation and Purdue Pharma, L.P.

The Problem
  • 1 in 5 teens has abused Rx drugs.
  • 1 in 3 teens reports there is "nothing wrong" when using Rx drugs "every once and a while."
  • 1 in 3 teens report knowing someone who abuses Rx drugs.
  • Every day, almost 2,500 teens abuse a prescription drug for the first time.
  • Rx drugs are abused more than cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and methamphetamine combined.

With the help of an esteemed Project Advisory Team (PAT) NCPIE has developed a turn-key educational program designed for healthcare professionals, including prescribers, pharmacists, and nurses, and adults working or involved in school based settings, including teachers, counselors, coaches and PTA groups, for example. The workshop, which can be presented in one hour (or less) consists of the following components:

Dangers of Abusing Rx Drugs
  • Increases in blood pressure or heart rate
  • Damages brain and other organs
  • Overdose/poisonings
  • Physical dependence
  • Addiction
  • Disruption in breathing (respiratory depression)
  • Seizures
  • Death
  • Risks associated with mixing multiple drugs or combining with alcohol
  • Welcome and Introductions (10 minutes)
  • Presentation (25-30 minutes)
  • Role Playing Activity (15 minutes)
  • Wrap Up and Evaluation (10 minutes)

This new educational resource is a complete workshop module designed to educate and equip teen influencers — parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, community and school-based healthcare providers and others — with credible information about teen prescription drug abuse and effective strategies to take action. The goal is to empower teen influencers to provide consistent prevention messages wherever teens are: at home, at school, on the field or during health-related visits.

During this hands-on program, participants will:

  • Learn about prescription (Rx) drug abuse.
  • Dispel common myths.
  • Reinforce your position as a role model.
  • Provide tips for communicating with teens.
  • Empower you to take an active role to reduce prescription drug abuse.
Who Can Make A Difference?
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • School administrators
  • Guidance counselors
  • School nurses
  • School resource officers
  • Community-based healthcare professionals - including prescribers, pharmacists, nurses

Your Role as a Presenter
You don't need any special training to give this presentation. Nor do you have to be a healthcare professional or an expert on teen prescription drug abuse. Simply review the materials, follow the steps outlined in this guide, and you'll be well prepared to conduct an engaging and informative presentation about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and what adults can do to prevent it. By giving this talk, you will help educate other teen influencers about the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and provide them with useful information and tools to enhance their outreach efforts.

Getting Started
NCPIE has provided everything you need to get started. The Presenter's Guide includes everything you'll need to plan a one-hour presentation for a group of teen influencers in your community. It will walk you through the steps needed to plan and promote a workshop in your community, school, clinic or other setting.

In addition to the Presenter's Guide, the "Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer" program includes:

These Days, It's not just PB&J Sandwiches that Kids are Trading — One in Five Teens Share Their Prescription Drugs with Friends (Join Together, 8/24/09)

  • A survey of 12- to 17-year-olds in the U.S. has found that about 20 percent said they have given their prescription drugs like OxyContin and Darvocet to friends or obtained drugs the same way.
  • Allergy drugs, narcotic pain relievers, antibiotics, acne medications, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety medications were the most commonly shared.
  • Three-quarters of those who borrowed drugs from friends said they did so in lieu of visiting a doctor.
  • About one-third of those who borrowed medications said they had experienced an allergic reaction or other negative side-effects as a result.

Past research has shown that 40 percent of adults also share their medications. The study was published online in August 2009 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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