Middle school students from across Middlesex County are once again invited to participate in a program designed to increase awareness of prescription and over-the-counter abuse.
Entries of the Coalition for Healthy Communities’ annual “Be Smart About Medicine” Creative Expression Contest are due by February 6, 2016.
Prescription drug abuse has become a national epidemic, with an estimated 2,500 teens trying a prescription drug without a prescription for the first time every day. These drugs are readily available in most homes. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription and over-the-counter drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans age 14 and older, after marijuana and alcohol. According to a recent Monitoring the Future Study results, 18.3 percent of 12th graders have taken a prescription drug in their lifetime; 12.9 percent have taken a prescription drug in the past year; and, almost six percent have done so in the past month.
To help promote awareness about prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse among middle school students and encourage them to “Be Smart” about prescription and over-the-counter drugs, the Coalition invites students in grades six through eight to submit an entry in the sixth annual “Be Smart About Medicine” Creative Expression Contest.
The contest is sponsored by the Coalition for Healthy Communities, an initiative of the Wellspring Center for Prevention. A panel of judges will review the submissions and will select first, second, and third place winners from each grade.