News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2005
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
202-307-7977

Drug-Free Partnership Director Calls on Parents to Halt Rise in Prescription Drug Abuse

Tom Hedrick, Jr. speaks at DEA Headquarters.
Tom Hedrick, Jr. speaks at DEA Headquarters.

OCT 20 -- In a presentation to DEA employees at Headquarters, Tom Hedrick, Jr., Director & Founding Member of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America said parents are the key to curbing prescription drug abuse among adolescents, and he encouraged DEA to continue educating their communities.

Hedrick said when it comes to prescription drug abuse among their children, “Parents don’t have a clue,” and he blamed the media and celebrities for not taking up the cause because drug prevention “isn’t sexy.”

In his presentation, Hedrick said that children as young as 12 years old are abusing prescription drugs because they think they are safer than street drugs. Prescription drugs are also much more accessible to children thanks to the internet, said Hedrick.

In a new campaign scheduled to launch early next year, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America will be emphasizing three ways parents can help turn the tide against prescription drug abuse:

  • By educating themselves about the medications kids are abusing
  • By communicating with their kids about the risk
  • By safeguarding your own medications and asking fellow parents to do the same

Hedrick said DEA divisions across the country are playing a major role in this initiative already, and he called on them to continue their efforts.

"My experience has been when Special Agents and their colleagues talk to parents’ groups about what is going on it can make a real difference. When a Special Agent addresses these groups, not as a law enforcement officer, but as a parent, it has a real impact. We need people who can communicate to parents that there is hope."

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