• 2.1 million teens abused prescription drugs in 2006.
  • 3.1 million 12- to 25-year-olds used OTC cough and cold medications at least once to get high.
  • Prescription drugs are the #1 choice among 12- to 13-year-olds.
  • One-third of all new abusers of prescription drugs in 2006 were 12- to 17-year-olds.
  • 13 is the mean age of the first non-prescribed use of sedatives and stimulants.
  • One in 7 boys and one in five girls has shared or borrowed a prescription drug.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 high school seniors admit abusing pain relievers.
  • Girls age 12 to 17 are more likely than boys to misuse OTC medications, but the trend reverses with 18- to 25-year-olds.

America has a drug problem and the primary source of these abused drugs is the family medicine cabinet. In fact, the supplier just might be—you.

Lock Your Meds™ is a campaign designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by making adults aware that they are frequently the "unintentional suppliers" of prescription medications being abused, especially by young people.

Lock Your Meds™ is a call to action for all parents and families to take a stand against the alarming increase in prescription drug abuse. Since 70 percent of the abused drugs come from friends and families, adults are the first line of defense against this dangerous and preventable public health problem. "Many teenagers taking the drugs see nothing wrong with it because a doctor prescribed them," said Peggy Sapp, President of National Family Partnership (NFP) and an expert on parenting issues. "Securing our medication and educating our children is something simple that each of us can do."

Every day, more than 4,000 young people begin experimenting with prescription drugs and the number of admissions to treatment facilities has increased 400 percent in the last 10 years, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

"These findings should serve as exclamation points to what we already know—abuse of prescription drugs is our country’s fastest-growing drug problem, the source of which lurks far too often in our home medicine cabinets," said R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

"Pain relievers and other powerful medications serve a very useful purpose for those in need," said Marsha Stanton, Senior Director of Advocacy for King Pharmaceuticals. "But in the wrong hands, they can be addictive and even deadly. Our advice is to take inventory, lock up your meds, talk to your children regularly about the dangers, and join our campaign."

For more information on prescription drug abuse or to download Lock Your Meds™ materials, please visit Lock Your Meds.

The Lock Your Meds™ campaign was developed by the National Family Partnership (NFP), sponsors of the National Red Ribbon Campaign, held in 132,000 schools across America every October 23rd–31st. NFP is comprised of a growing network of 85 affiliates that include local coalitions, government agencies, schools and parent groups that work to improve the lives of families at the grassroots level. NFP provides a national voice and valuable resources to these groups including a website, brochures, a PSA campaign and other resources.