Webinar: The Medicine Abuse Project

OPERATOR: Welcome everyone and thank you for standing by. As a reminder, all parties will remain muted
for the duration of today’s call until the question and answer portion. At that time, please make sure that your phone lines are not muted, press Star 1, and record just your name at the prompt to be placed
into the queue. This call is being recorded, so if you do
have any objections, please disconnect at this time. And now I’d like to turn the meeting over
to Mr. David Wilson. You may begin, sir. DAVID WILSON: Thank you. Good morning everyone
in the room and good morning to everybody My name is David Wilson. I am the
Coordinator for National Prevention Week, which brings us here today. Today we are specifically going to talk about
the Medicine Abuse Project, which is an initiative with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. And we are in for a very, very, very real
treat, because we are joined for this presentation
by Marcia Lee Taylor. Marcia Lee Taylor is the Senior Vice President
for Government Affairs at the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Where she leads the Medicine Abuse Project,
a communications and educational campaign aimed at reducing teen prevention, drug, and
over-the-counter cough medicine abuse by half a million over five years. Previously, Marcia served as the Senior Advisor
for Drug Policy and Research for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime
and Drugs and the Democratic staff. She was working with then Senator Joseph R.
Biden, Jr., and in that capacity she worked on a wide variety of drug policy bills and curbing the proliferation
of methamphetamine, Ecstasy, and GHB, as well as drug treatment, prevention and enforcement
initiatives. So, she comes with a wide range of experience,
a wide range of knowledge, and we are so fortunate to have her for this last National Prevention
Week in-service. And, without any further ado, I will turn
it over to Marcia. I did want to leave you with two tips before
we start. The Webinar
will be recorded. It will be available on our website in about
two weeks at www.samhsa.gov/preventionweek. Thank you. Marcia? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Well, thank you for having
me here today. It’s great to be here, to have an opportunity
to talk a little bit about the Medicine Abuse Project and the work that we’re doing at the Partnership
to prevent prescription drug abuse. I know that one of SAMHSA’s priorities is
preventing prescription drug abuse as well. And we’re so glad to have you as a partner
in our effort with the Medicine Abuse Project and with so much of what we do as an organization. So, today, what I thought I’d do is walk you
through a little bit of what the Medicine Abuse Project is all about and then show you a really special documentary
that we created as part of the Medicine Abuse Project. The documentary is a community education tool. It is made by teens but intended for parents
and other adult audiences. When we created it — and I’ll go into this
a little more later — we really wanted to give adults sort
of an opportunity to eavesdrop on teens and how they talk about prescription drug
abuse, how cavalier they are and casual they are
about this, and how they don’t understand the consequences. So, I’ll tell you a little bit more about
it as we go on, but we have teamed up with a number of elected officials, with U.S. Attorneys. We’re doing an event with the First Lady of
Ohio next week to use this as a community conversation starter. There are many aspects of the Medicine Abuse
Project that can be conversation starters and can
be opportunities to engage new populations in learning about
the problem of medicine abuse, finding out what they can do in their personal and professional lives to make a difference and, creating a wider audience for engagement on
this issue. The Medicine Abuse Project grew out of the report that the White House released in April of 2011 on reducing prescription drug abuse and, as many people will remember, there were
four pillars of that White House strategy. One of the pillars was education and the need
to educate adults, youth, patients, about the dangers of prescription drugs and
educate prescribers so they were more engaged in the problem and
in being part of the solution. The call to arms for education was terrific
but it didn’t come with any money. The Partnership saw this as an opportunity to really go out and engage the private sector, in order to have funding to do this. We knew that we’re very good at asking for
things for free from our friends in the media, through our friends in the advertising world, but not all of that can be free. We knew we needed some funding to get this
program off the ground. So, with that we created the Medicine Abuse Project. It’s a five-year awareness, education and
action campaign. We felt it was very important for it to address
all categories of medicine abuse. The pain relievers often get most of the headlines, but we knew that there are other substances
that were being abused as well, in the Rx space as well as over-the-counter. Talking to younger kids, we know that over-the-counter
cough products are being abused. And kids don’t really differentiate between
what’s an over-the-counter cough product and what’s a prescription one. So, we wanted to look at it from the perspective
of what is the consumer behavior and work back from that and determine how
we should be addressing it. We also felt like it was important to enlist
all major organizations with a stake in the problem and a stake in the solution, to be part of this effort. So, that it wasn’t just one company or wasn’t just one segment of industry or one government agency or one non-profit partner. We really needed a lot of people together
with us. And we really wanted, as we brought people
in, we wanted to help them have their networks be able to be activated here. We didn’t want this just to be a logo on our
website saying that we’re working together, and we wanted this to be an opportunity to
engage their constituencies. And what we asked our partners to do was showcase
the great work that they’re doing. We know that there’s a lot of great stuff
going on about this and we just ask people to rally around two
main talking points: One, asking people to clean out their medicine
cabinets and secure their medication. And, two, asking people to talk to their kids
about medicine abuse. And from there, we’re very open to people
adding third, fourth and fifth bullet points to that, but those were the main messages that we are
trying to get across. The objective of the Medicine Abuse Project
is to reduce by half a million the number of teens who are initiating this
behavior over the next five years. In order to do this, we are promoting parent-child
discussions about the risks of medicine abuse, promoting safeguarding and proper disposal
of medicine at home, and then, again, identifying key steps that
people can take in their personal and professional lives to really make a difference. We rally around a pledge on our MedicineAbuseProject.org website asking people to pledge to be part of this. And when people take the pledge, we get their email address and every month we communicate different items to them about various aspects of this problem and
the solution. So, as I mentioned, partners are a critical
part of the Medicine Abuse Project. We’re so proud to have eight federal partners,
including SAMHSA, as part of this endeavor. We also have more than 80 national and state
non-profit partners. As I said before, we knew that we weren’t
the only ones who were active on this issue. We knew there were a lot of non-profits, whether it was core to their mission to be engaged in this issue or whether they’re groups like the American
Dental Association or the National Education Association, who
have tremendously important constituencies who are engaged in this issue, who need to be engaged more on this issue, who have things to offer and can help really facilitate a conversation that will make a difference on this. And then, finally, funders. We can’t do anything
without funding. We’re very sensitive to the fact that, you
know, we needed to make sure that our relationship
with our funders is unrestricted. Meaning that no one was going to tell us what
to do or dictate the direction of the campaign. All of our funders know who we are and what
we do and that we don’t sugarcoat the message. We’re not going to, you know, not talk about
the overdose statistics or some of the aspects of abuse because of
who our partners are. But we are grateful for their support and
we wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing without them. So, as I mentioned before a lot of our partners
have great resources. So, the first thing we set out to do when
we created Medicine Abuse Project was build a website. We wanted to have all of our public service
announcements and communications drive people to one destination where they could find all the best resources. And this is something that we are continually
working to update. If we find out about a great program for healthcare
professionals, we’ll add it. If we find out about a new school program,
we’ll add it. So, this is always a work in progress but
it is really a compendium of what we’ve identified as the top resources
for our various audiences on this subject. If you look at the far left-hand column, under
the Medicine Abuse Project logo, you’ll see that there are four different audience
buckets. We have pages for parents and grandparents, healthcare providers, educators, and communities and law enforcement. And within each of those categories, that’s where we put the resources intended for those various groups and I’ll walk you through those in just a
moment. For example, if you click on the educator
icon on the homepage, it will lead you here. We feature a number of different resources:
curricula from the National Education Association and from the National Association of School
Nurses; posters from NIDA; information that we developed through the
Partnership for principals and school administrators and sent home with parents about how to talk
to your kids; NCPIE’s higher education resources, etc. So [the website is] aimed at a wide range of ages and a wide range of different types of resources [are] there, but very important material. For parents and grandparents, we have fact
sheets, we have guides so that when a parent finds a pill in their kid’s
pocket and they have no idea what it is, they can go to that guide and look it up. If they hear their kid talking about a slang
name for a drug, they also can go to that guide and look it
up and find out what on earth their kid is talking about or what their kid might be using. For healthcare providers, we link to a lot
of government resources, from the CDC, from the FDA. We have a link to the New York City Emergency Room guidelines for prescribing pain meds, etc. Communities and law enforcement. We’ve been very fortunate to work with the
Department of Justice over the past almost ten years on creating a wide range of community education
programs. When the Medicine Abuse Project launched in
2012, we featured an 11-minute video that was created hand-in-hand
with the Department of Justice that told the story of about five different
families who have struggled with prescription drug
abuse. Some have lost a child, some have a child
in recovery. One family has a child who was grievously
injured and is forever in a wheelchair because of his prescription drug abuse. So, it really puts a face on the problem and
talks about how lives really were affected, and it’s a great community education tool. To wrap around that, we created a tool kit that had everything from a moderator’s guide with sample questions to ask, handouts, an audience evaluation form, an invitation,
etc., to make it easy for a community leader to
put this together. And we always suggest that people invite specialists
in their community to be there and to educate attendees about
what’s going on right there at home. In our second year of Medicine Abuse Project, we felt it was important to have that teen voice represented and that’s when we set about trying to find
someone who could tell that teen story. And I’ll get more into that in a minute. One of the other big aspects of the Medicine
Abuse Project is social media. It’s free, or virtually free. So, it’s a great tool for us to get the word
out in as an efficient way as possible. And what we’ve done is we’ve created a series of
info-graphics– — this is an example of one of them that you
see now on the screen– that are easy for people to pass along to
their network of friends. We know that this is a problem that is affecting
all sorts of people. Communities are really being overrun by it
and feel almost like it’s come out of nowhere. So, having these kinds of info-graphics that
people can spread around helps people not be so shocked by the problem, helps people be able to start a conversation with their kids, with their families, about
locking up their medicine, etc. This is another example of showing how parents
may be talking to their kids about alcohol and other drugs but they’re not talking about prescription
drugs. So, back to the documentary. As I mentioned, community education is a critical
part of the Medicine Abuse Project. We really want to just have people talking
about this issue in as in-depth a way as possible. The picture you see on the side of this slide
is a young man who is absolutely tremendous. His name is Cyrus Stowe. He lives in Dallas, Texas where he is a high
school senior. We worked with an organization call GenArt, which is based in New York and L.A., whose mission is to cultivate young artists. They helped us to conduct a nationwide search for a young person who could tell the story of how prescription
drug abuse has affected their lives and how they see it playing out among their friends. Cyrus grew up with a dad who was addicted to pills. He knew firsthand the damage that prescription
drug abuse could cause and he saw his friends engaging in this behavior
without any sense of risk. And he really wanted to tell that story and
do something about it. And because he was interviewing his peers,
it’s such an honest, unvarnished conversation. If we at the Partnership, or any group of
adults, had approached these teens and asked them
to talk about prescription drug abuse, the kids would be much more guarded and less
likely to open up. We paired Cyrus with a professional documentarian, Tucker Capps, who has done episodes of Intervention, a documentary
on death and dying for ShowTime and more. He’s a real pro. The two of them put together
an amazing piece of work that really does open adults’ eyes to how
kids are talking about this. I think I mentioned that we’ve worked with a number of elected officials, U.S. Attorneys and community leaders. When we first unveiled this documentary, we got requests from community organizations
in 43 states. We really want to push this out as much as possible. And just like with our Department of Justice video that we created for the launch of the Medicine Abuse Project, we have created a toolkit for this documentary
that is very user friendly. It contains everything from media advisories
to handouts, and a moderator’s guide to help facilitate the conversation. What we suggest for the screenings of this
video, which is called Out of Reach, is that people follow the screening with a
panel discussion featuring leaders in their communities, such as a law enforcement official, an emergency
room doctor, a parent who has lost a child. These community leaders can tell the story really of what’s going on right there in their town. And then they can have a discussion about
what more can be done. AUDIENCE MEMBER: In regards to the various
groups that you’ve targeted… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Sure. AUDIENCE MEMBER: …for dissemination of the
educational materials, have you thought of targeting funeral homes? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: We have not done that yet. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Because when granddad and grandma go, there’s a treasure chest of drugs that they
probably don’t know what to do with, the survivors and the grand kids. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: That’s a great idea. AUDIENCE MEMBER: It’s just a thought. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: That’s a great idea. That’s
a great idea. And that actually, one thing that I didn’t mention at the presentation
is our public service announcement campaign. We have a series of PSAs that are running
on television and the tag line is “Mind Your Meds”. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: ..You may have seen one
of the spots with a reflection of a grandfather going into the bathroom to take a pill and his granddaughter is reflected in the
mirror and she’s doing the exact same thing. And that’s to raise awareness and it does
get to the Mind Your Meds that the… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: …funeral home idea does
just tie into that nicely. So, that’s something we should pursue. Well, without further ado, why don’t we show the video. If anyone wants to obtain a copy of the video, they can send an email to [email protected]
and we will send a link to the full video. We have about a 90-second trailer that’s available on-line, but we didn’t want to put access to the whole film on-line. In part, because it is, if teens see it, there
are parts of it that are really educative and we didn’t want kids to be able to find
that. Again, this is made for an adult audience. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: And here we are. ((VIDEO)) CYRUS STOWE: So, do you guys know anyone or
have you guys ever taken a prescription drug that hasn’t been prescribed to you? MAN: Oh, I got hurt. I had hurt my ribs in
a football game and I didn’t have anything, so I hadn’t gone to
the doctor yet. So, when I got home, I told my Dad and he
had, I don’t remember what it was, but it was a painkiller, you know, and it was prescribed to him. So, he gave me two of those and it just didn’t
hurt anymore. So, I just, all right. It didn’t, like, make me feel, like, high
or, like, crazy, or anything, but it made the pain go away, so. WOMAN: Like my one friend, she was my best
friend, and she got kind of depressed. And then she started with, like, like, her
parent’s, like normal over-the-counter sleep medicine or something, like that was really harmless. And she started
taking that a lot. And then that progressed into, like alcohol
and like, weed and stuff like that. And then it finally got to Oxycontin and cocaine
and, like, other things. MAN: My friends, they have these parties.
I forget what they’re called, but basically they all bring their parents’ old drugs, just
prescription drugs, and they’d pour them all in a bowl and they’d just take them. It’s, you just
take, like, five pills. CYRUS STOWE: My name’s Cyrus Stowe. I’m from
Dallas, Texas. I’m going to be a senior this upcoming school
year. And I just kind of wanted to talk about and
show, you know, a drug problem that’s going on
these days and it’s not something you really think about
when you think about teen drug abuse. It’s kind of something different that’s more
new and coming, I guess. But before we get started, let me show you
around some stuff. Here’s my cameras. I really like to make films and take pictures
and stuff like that. I’ve always marked my height on this wall.
I hit, like, a huge growth spurt in 2011. CYRUS STOWE: Here’s some of the fellows hanging
out. This is (Chase), I’ve known since, like, third
grade. This is (Steve). He plays bass. This is (Spencer). He’s doing the sound for
the documentary we’re doing right now. Here’s my lovely mother. Classy. And here is my family’s medicine cabinet. In most families, the medicine cabinet is
in the bathroom. You open the cabinet and it’s, like, rows
and rows of medicine from either maybe your brother got a broken
arm. Maybe you got a broken arm. The parents don’t even realize that they have
these pills that are totally open for anyone to take. A lot of parents, they think, my kid would
never do that. My kid doesn’t do drugs. But, in reality, it’s like seeing a jar of
pot or something like that, right in front of this kid. And it’s, he’s a teenager, you know,
or she’s a teenager. Your kid is going to get curious. And if you
have drugs in front of your kid constantly, it’s like nine times out of ten your kid is
going to want to try the drugs. In my life, I’ve realized and found out that
a bunch of my friends are doing these things. So, that’s kind of my mission going on this
adventure. To just talk to people and my friends and see what they’re going through and why
they’re putting themselves through it. [ MUSIC PLAYING ] All right, we’re at my high school and school’s
been let out but there’s summer school going on. My mom actually happens to teach here. So, I was thinking, I can go in and see what
some of the people I go to school with think of the whole issue. So, I’m trying to get some individual stories
or what you guys really think. Okay, so, how many of you guys, in your house,
your medicine cabinets or tray are completely open? They’re not locked up or anything like that. All right. How about this guy back here. MAN: Well, it’s not very locked up because
we don’t care. CYRUS STOWE: Who’s we? MAN: My family. We don’t take drugs for, like,
no reason. CYRUS STOWE: Yes, so they, like, trust you
not to take anything. Man: Yes, pretty much. CYRUS STOWE: Okay, so, how many of you guys
know someone that’s taken a prescription drug to get high? Wow. Yes. WOMAN: So, I was at, like, a convenience store
with my friends and she, like, pulls out one of her, like, it’s just like a little, like, I guess, like
a safe keep box or whatever, and it’s, like, she opens it and it’s filled
with, like, different types of pills and what not. And I’m, like, oh, okay. Well, what’s that
one? And she was, like, oh, I don’t really know. And I was, like, you don’t know what
you’re about to take? And she was, like, yes, one of my friends
offered it to me and they said it was free and I didn’t really know what it was, but they
said it’s, like, I could have it for free. So, she took it and she didn’t even know what
it is and she’s just, like, taking things that people are giving to her. And I feel like people don’t, like, especially
her but also other people, that just shows that
they don’t really realize what they’re taking but they’re just taking it because they can. CYRUS STOWE: Parents are really suspicious
about pot and stuff like that. Do you think they’re just as suspicious with
prescription drugs? WOMAN: I, definitely not. I don’t think so. Just because it’s prescription drugs, like,
like I was saying, by a doctor. So, pot is kind of just, like, known for being,
like, a bad thing or, like, for bad kids. But if it’s an over-the-counter drug or
it’s a prescription drug, it’s, like, it’s kind of not really touched
on. The subject isn’t really, like, covered at
all between, like, parents and children that much. CYRUS STOWE: So, how many of you guys’ parents
have talked to you about drugs, whether it be marijuana, cocaine, anything
like that? Now, how many of you guys did they include
prescription drugs in those drug talks? Wow, none of you. Okay. Thank you so much. Okay, so, this is my school’s basement and
I guess I had no idea, but my friends told me that, and I guess I
realized that, people will come down here and even, take pills and pop them open and snort them
down here and then they just go back up to class
like nothing happened and it’s pretty secret. Nobody really knows
about it too much. So, a lot of times before passing periods
and stuff like that, in school and stuff and everywhere, people will come into here before a class
or a test or something like that and exchange or just pop an ADHD pill to do
better or focus or get high or whatever they want to do and, you know, no one will ever know. I had no idea that any of this stuff was going
on. And if I didn’t have any idea, then, and I
go to school with people that do these things and I’m sure that people outside of school,
like friends and family and stuff like that, then they definitely probably have no clue. [ MUSIC PLAYING ] The reason why I don’t have these issues with
prescription drug abuse is because I know something that a lot of my friends don’t know. I know how bad it can make a person and how
it will change a person. And that happened with my Dad. [ MUSIC PLAYING ] When my Mom and my Dad were together and they
were in a relationship, they were married for 12 years. She had no idea that he had any sort of problem
with prescription drugs or over-the-counter things or anything like
that. It was, no one even suspected it. But it started when he was a teenager and he just went into his family medicine
cabinet and took a couple of things out. He just did it every now and then, and it
escalated all the way until he was, like, a full-grown man. He had a kid, me, and then my sister. I thought we were just living kind of this
perfect life. This childhood memory where everything’s fine
and you don’t have to worry about anything, but after a while that illusion kind of completely
went away. One of the hardest and strangest times for
me was when I was nine years old and my Dad kept getting into all these car
accidents. And one time, we were driving together and the car flipped several times and my seat belt had come undone and I just see
him hanging upside down, attached to his seat belt with blood all over
his face. And that’s when the falling out of the family
kind of happened and destroyed it. [ MUSIC PLAYING ] There’s a lot of people who don’t exactly
feel comfortable sharing what all they know. There’s a girl that I really want to interview
because I think that she has a lot of good stuff to share. So I went over to my friend’s house and visited
her there. MAN: Okay well thank you. He likes the car. CYRUS STOWE: Yes. The car got us in. Wow this is a nice area. She doesn’t want her identity to be shown
on camera. CYRUS STOWE: Do you know or have any experience
with anyone who has kind of used prescription drugs or given prescription drugs out? WOMAN: I’ve taken prescription drugs. I’ve taken Hydrocodone and Oxycodone and muscle
relaxants and things like that. But I was never like looking for it. I was
never going out trying to find it. I never bought any of it. CYRUS STOWE: How do you get it? WOMAN: It’s just in my environment. People have given things to me, it’s in your
medicine cabinets. CYRUS STOWE: Yes. WOMAN: I mean, I can go into my parents’
bathroom and open the cabinet. And there’s just rows and rows of pill bottles,
you know, of pain meds, ADHD meds for my brother which there are, you know, countless bottles
of just dextroamphetamine. You know, I don’t even know what else. It’s all kind of left over from, times when
it was prescribed. And that’s where people get it from. CYRUS STOWE: Why did you decide to be in this documentary and be a part of it if you have still done these drugs? WOMAN: I don’t want to be involved in it anymore. And I decided I had enough to tell. It could benefit other people for me to come
out and say these things. Cause all it took was a couple of things for
it to nearly become a problem. One time I had been drinking a little bit, and it was not a lot, and somebody had given me half a Xanax, which is an anti-anxiety medication and I ended up blacking out and throwing up
twice. That was a bit of a wake-up call because if
I had had any more to drink or [anyone] had given me anymore of anything, I could have died. I haven’t done anything like that in months but I’ve had friends who have serious withdrawals
and have serious problems because of those withdrawals. CYRUS STOWE: Yes, there’s a mutual friend
of ours who’s also had, you know, that problem. With our mutual friend, what’s the right way to stop those things? Do you think it’s through saying, “You need to stop right now” or is it just letting them know that you’re
there for them and it’s going to be okay? WOMAN: It’s kind of a double edged sword because
you can tell somebody and you can try to intervene. But you also have the opportunity of just
losing that friendship or losing that relationship. Because you’re concerned. So I will be honest but I don’t really know
what the best way is to go about it because it’s hard. CYRUS STOWE: Yes. [ CAR ENGINE STARTS ] [ MUSIC PLAYING ] CYRUS STOWE: A lot of my friends have been
talking and telling stories about what seems to be one person. They didn’t name any names but I knew exactly
who they were talking about, because I’ve got a friend who’s been
through a lot. She has got a serious problem I think. CYRUS STOWE: Where are we headed to right
now? WOMAN: Headed to the park. Lakewood Park. CYRUS STOWE: Okay, I’ve been there a few times. What do you guys usually do, you just go and
hang out? Woman: Yes, you know, yes we just chill. If you know what I mean? CYRUS STOWE: How often do you guys usually
hang out? WOMAN: I mean, probably like five times a
week, no four times. WOMAN: Yes. CYRUS STOWE: Like now or in the past. WOMAN: Like now. CYRUS STOWE: How come you guys come here to
hang out and do drugs and stuff? WOMAN: Because we don’t want our parents to
see. WOMAN: Or the police. WOMAN: Or the police. CYRUS STOWE: Yes. WOMAN: Yes, that’s why… WOMAN: I don’t want to go to jail. CYRUS STOWE: Right. You guys
just kind of come out here and just find a spot and sit? WOMAN: Yes. We find a spot that’s closed off
so like, you can’t see. WOMAN: Like right there, or right there. WOMAN: So like a place no one would go. WOMAN: Yes. CYRUS STOWE: So you guys said you took stuff.
How did you know exactly what dosage to take? WOMAN: Internet, yes internet. WOMAN: Yes we just read stuff and like, you
know, kind of looked on what doctors said because there’d be stuff on medical websites. CYRUS STOWE: All right. WOMAN: Like medical websites. CYRUS STOWE: Do you guys ever think well what
if something bad were to happen, no one would be able to come and rescue me or anything
like that? WOMAN: No never thought of that. WOMAN: No because I think we’d be able to
get out of here, it’s not like that far off. WOMAN: I feel like if something bad were to
happen, we’d be found. CYRUS STOWE: Yes. CYRUS STOWE: Nice house. I remember from last
year. WOMAN: Yes dude. CYRUS STOWE: Your room over here? WOMAN: Yes my room’s right here. CYRUS STOWE: Cool. WOMAN: Still the same walls. CYRUS STOWE: You have the best room. So how was your school year this year, going
to be seniors? WOMAN: School year next year or last… CYRUS STOWE: Last year. WOMAN: Last year? It was all right.
I mean, I’m switching schools. CYRUS STOWE: You’re switching schools? WOMAN: Yes, dude. CYRUS STOWE: I had no idea you’re switching
schools. What for? WOMAN: I missed like a lot of school. CYRUS STOWE: Because I remember we had monologue
class together. WOMAN: Yes. I went to the hospital a few times. CYRUS STOWE: What for? WOMAN: Just like stuff. CYRUS STOWE: When did they first find out that people
were taking things? CYRUS STOWE: Yes. Or when did you find out
you could do it? WOMAN: Eighth grade. I started in eighth grade.
I just did it immediately. CYRUS STOWE: How do you start that? WOMAN: I just took pills from the medicine
cabinet. CYRUS STOWE: oh yes? WOMAN: Because I had heard that you could
do that and then I’m like oh you can get high off that? CYRUS STOWE: Right. So you first tried that
and then… WOMAN: And then I did oxy. CYRUS STOWE: How did you get the oxy? WOMAN: My dad. He has cancer. CYRUS STOWE: Oh okay. So he was prescribed
it. WOMAN: Right, yes. Yes I’ve taken a lot of
pills. I don’t even know how many I’ve taken. CYRUS STOWE: Yes. Were other people doing
it with you, or were you just kind of like bored? WOMAN: Doing it alone. I was doing it alone. CYRUS STOWE: Was it because you were bored?
I know that’s why a lot of people did it. WOMAN: Yes. Bored. To feel good. CYRUS STOWE: While you were doing it, did you think emotionally, like, “I know I should stop, but I don’t want to”? Or were you the whole time, like, “I don’t care”? WOMAN: I guess the breaking point was when
I… went to the hospital and I realized I had a problem
with drugs. CYRUS STOWE: How old were you? What grade
were you in when you overdosed? WOMAN: That was this year. CYRUS STOWE: That was this year? I had no
idea. WOMAN: Yes. I’m kind of good at hiding it. CYRUS STOWE: What happened? Were you sort of like, “I’m going to take all these”? WOMAN: Yes. CYRUS STOWE: Were you alone? WOMAN: Yes. CYRUS STOWE: What happened, did your parents
find you? WOMAN: Yes. CYRUS STOWE: And they took you there? WOMAN: Yes. CYRUS STOWE: Has it gotten any easier for
you or is the struggle to not do those things just as hard as it was? WOMAN: It’s still pretty hard. CYRUS STOWE: Yes. WOMAN: Yes because once you get high you think
man it’d be nice to get high every day. CYRUS STOWE: Yes because the drug you mentioned,
was one of the most addictive. WOMAN: Yes. And I don’t know. I guess I’m addicted a little bit. I’ve never really admitted that so it’s kind
of weird to say that but yes it’s still really hard. CYRUS STOWE: Do you feel like you’ve gotten
this far that you’re ready to move on from that? WOMAN: Yes. I want to be. CYRUS STOWE: But it’s so hard. WOMAN: Yes, exactly. CYRUS STOWE: I always wonder with the people
we talked to and my friends where they’ll be in five, ten years from now. I always think about my dad but I wonder if there’s other stories similar
to my dad’s or not so similar. To get that insight I went to a sober living
facility. Nice to meet you I’m Cyrus Stowe. DAVE: Nice to meet you I’m Dave. DAVE: This is our sober living transitional living house for young guys in recovery. We can hold 21 guys and we work with guys
everywhere from prescription pill addiction to heroin addiction to alcoholism. Follow me into the living room. I’d like to introduce you to Phil. Phil is one of our former graduates here of
the house CYRUS STOWE: Hey, nice to meet you. CYRUS STOWE: So kind of get started. Phil
how old are you? PHIL: I’m 23 years old. CYRUS STOWE: Yes, you lived in Dallas your
whole life? PHIL: No, I’ve lived in Dallas for just over
a year now. I’m from Naperville, Illinois. CYRUS STOWE: Oh okay. Cool. So prescription drugs and over the counter
stuff and all that it’s like really, really available with the environment that a lot of my friends
are in and people I go to school with and people I know because they can just go into their parents
cabinets and just take whatever and… PHIL: When I was like your friends only doing
it every once in a while I was just convincing myself that I could control it because eventually it got to a point where it was just
on the weekends and then it was, well, Monday counts as a weekend now, too, and then every other day. CYRUS STOWE: and what happened then? PHIL: Then I discovered that my mom was prescribed
Oxycontin, and oxycodones, and hydrocodones. My mom would even ask me to go fill her prescriptions
for her. CYRUS STOWE: Would you take it from your mom? PHIL: Yes. I’d wait till they went to sleep. I would crawl under their bed while they were
asleep, trying not to wake the dogs. Steal the drug box. I had this whole routine where I knew how
to completely disassemble it. And take a handful of pills. Put it all back
together. So I had an endless supply of pain killers
and once I learned how to snort them it was an everyday occurrence. CYRUS STOWE: Yes. PHIL: It was not fun man. I mean, I didn’t, I didn’t want to be doing it. I’d leave my sick mother on the couch in agony just thinking she was going crazy because
she thought she was taking all these extra pills and they weren’t working anymore. So yes, she’d lay on the couch and she’d just
want me to take her out for lunch or walk in the house and say “hi” to her and
give her a hug. But I could never face her because I knew that her agony was because of me. CYRUS STOWE: Do you feel like that was your
lowest low? PHIL: I still used for another seven months
daily after that experience. But when I got the out from my parents, I
told them that I had a problem and they told me to figure out how to pay
for rehab and to get the hell out of the house and I did. CYRUS STOWE: I have a friend, she’s in my school, but she got really, really hooked on prescription drugs that she would steal from
her parents. Her dad had cancer. She would go and steal
his oxy and hydros and everything and she would take it all the time. She overdosed and then went to the hospital
and then came out and she still does it. And so yes, she’s been going through a really
hard time and it’s hard to watch, you know. She like reached her peak and it hasn’t really
gotten that much better. PHIL: Does she want to stop? CYRUS STOWE: She says she wants to stop, you
know. But it seemed like kind of what you said. You knew you had to stop, you wanted to but you couldn’t, or didn’t. PHIL: Through the halfway house that I went
to, people addicted to opiates people who wanted to stop and knew they needed to stop but couldn’t. I’ve had five friends die in the last year… CYRUS STOWE: Wow. PHIL: …out here in Texas. So… if she wants to and knows that she needs to
and can’t then that’s when it starts to get really scary. [ MUSIC PLAYING ] CYRUS STOWE: Some of my best friends are doing the
same exact thing my dad did and I just think like, with everything that
I’ve been through on this issue with my dad, I wouldn’t wish that upon anybody. [ MUSIC PLAYING ] When people watch this I want them to at least be aware. And if that can be done I’ll know that I accomplished something. [ MUSIC PLAYING ] ((END VIDEO)) MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Thank you. And again for folks who want a copy of the
full video they can email [email protected] and we would be happy to send it to you. We are looking to get it out into as many
communities as possible and have it help facilitate conversations locally. So that said, questions? DAVID WILSON: Sure. I think our tech person
can unmute the line and we can take any questions that anyone
might have for Marcia. OPERATOR: And this is the operator. If anyone
on the phone does have a question please make sure that your phone line is not muted. Press Star 1 and record just your name at
the prompt to be placed into the queue. Your name is necessary in order for me to
let you know that your line has been opened. Again that’s Star 1 and record just your name
if you have a question. WOMAN: In a way I can see and understand this
because alcohol you can smell, marijuana you can smell, even, you know, the clothes and
the whole thing. So it seems like it would be a perfect drug
to use like there were Breathalyzers when you go to the school dance and that kind
of thing. And this way you’d be able to just slip right
in. I wondered if there were two pieces – one,
CVS looked like they were a sponsor. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. WOMAN: And when we went to the first prescription
drug conference they talked about the big companies like CVS and Walgreens and they didn’t seem to be the prescription
drug problem places in Florida. The problem places were the little hole in
the wall that was Florida pharmacy and some doctor in the back just writing prescriptions. And I wondered if there’s a way to contact
or to work with those folks? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Which folks? CVS? WOMAN: Well, CVS and Walgreens seem like they’d
be easy partners but the independent companies and restrictions
on independent companies. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: We’ve reached out to them but we haven’t been able to forge a relationship yet. We’re very open to it and any ideas are more
than welcome. WOMAN: And then I was thinking too about poison
control. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. WOMAN: I think this has to be an ER doctor’s
nightmare because when the kids come in and they’ve taken a fistful of something… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. WOMAN: …you know, half of them are uppers
and half of them are downers and half… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: No idea how to treat them.
Yes. WOMAN: Right. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. WOMAN: So education early on with poison control
people or ER docs, like when children get into poisons under the sink or something, to educate the parents about the combination
fishbowl rave parties or whatever they are. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. It’s a great point
and it really does present a medical challenge when kids who are in distress wind up in the
emergency room. One of the things we talked a lot about is
how to engage teens more on this and what’s the way in. And one of the things that we are looking
to do more research in is whether there is a “help a friend” message? and having teens also be the ones to deliver that. It is important for teens to know that if
a friend is in crisis they need to call 911, get medical authorities involved and relay
what their friends have taken. Those are really critical pieces. DAVID WILSON: I have a few questions but I
want to just still leave it open for anybody on the phone or
in the room before I ask mine. WOMAN 2: I have a question. One of the things you mentioned is that one of the impacts is that you want to decrease by 500,000? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. WOMAN 2: By 2017 MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Seventeen. WOMAN 2: Seventeen. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. WOMAN 2: So how are you all assessing that
metric? What was the baseline that you’re using and then how are you all… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: The primary metric is from
(NSDUH). There is an initiation question and so we’re grateful that (NSDUH) asks it. And what we’ve seen so far on that is that
there’s been some progress on the opiate front but we’re going in the wrong direction on
the stimulant front. We’re going to be doing more on ADHD meds
in the coming year because that’s a whole different behavior. But in addition to that (NSDUH) question we
did a baseline survey that we’ll be repeating this year to look at a whole range of things about perception
of risks, social approval, behavior with regards to security of disposing meds, all those kinds
of things. So we’re going to do our own tracking to sort
of get the broader picture but that actual initiation is from (NSDUH). WOMAN 2: Okay. And it seems as though that the easiest access
that we’re hearing from youth in the documentary is around just the scene in the home. So the target of the parents is their work
to see them with, for example, the PTSAs, well they have a new name now, but in terms of specific outreach to the parents
for that mechanism. I know you have the website but actually
are we reaching out directly to parents? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. We’re working with
a lot of our partners to get to their networks so I know a lot of our partners have put things
in their newsletters, make things available. But, you know, we really just need to go at
it from a thousand different directions to make sure that we’re hitting as many people
as possible. So we would welcome any help that you can
offer to get the word out and make sure people know about these resources. The Mind Your Meds campaign again is something,
you know, it’s all public service announcements, it’s all donated media. Last year we had $21 million worth of donated
media for that campaign. It needs to be more than that. I mean that’s amazing and we’re so grateful
for that, but it needs to be even more than that. MAN 1 : How are you engaging the community
based organizations to address this? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: It’s mostly through their
national partners. There are some small community organizations that have partnered with us. So we’re trying to push it out in as many
directions as possible through national organizations that can kind of filter down. And through organizations that have partnered
with us directly. And, you know, again any help with that is
much appreciated. WOMAN 1: Have you looked at real estate
agents because a lot of times when people come in to tour the home they’ll ask to use the restroom and they’ll
clean out the medicine cabinet. Yes. We’ve heard that there a lot of education
efforts going on with real estate agents. We haven’t been involved in those per se. We’d be happy to be involved more with those
but that’s not something we have done yet. MAN 1: I think some of the coalitions
are (unintelligible)… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. Yes. MAN 1: …and drug (unintelligible)… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. MAN 1: …(unintelligible) real estate
agents have that strength to (unintelligible). MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. WOMAN 1: But on a national level if you
could do something big… Yes, I mean, like some of the bigger agents. MAN 1: (unintelligible) WOMAN 1: What’s the one with the balloon? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Re/Max. Yes, yes. That’s
a great idea. DAVID WILSON: So I have one last question
before we close. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Do you want to make sure
there are no questions on the phone? DAVID WILSON: Oh, I’m sorry. Thank you. Is there any questions on the phone before
we close? OPERATOR: No, we have no questions on the
phone. DAVID WILSON: Thank you. My lens usually is urban communities, and what I didn’t see in the documentary was a lot of diversity. And so I was wondering are there other aspects
of your project that speak to urban audiences or… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes, I mean… DAVID WILSON: …urban teens? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: One of the teens that we
had spotlighted in our public service announcements last year and in that 11 minute video that I spoke about that we did with the Department
of Justice was a young man named (Ronnie) who was an African American young man from an urban environment in Tennessee. Ronnie played football, had a football injury, was prescribed pain medicine, began to abuse
it, wound up getting addicted, overdosed and died when he had a full football scholarship to
college. So we do have diversity in different places. But the most compelling story that came to
us through this nationwide search was Cyrus Stowe who’s from Dallas, Texas and, you know, there was a little bit of diversity
in there but clearly not enough. But we do always strive to address that. And
there are definitely other aspects of our campaign that do. DAVID WILSON: Okay. WOMAN 1: Are you looking at the cultural
diversity that we talked about in the tobacco one at the last session of like hitting the cultural groups of the country
kids versus hitting the goth, I don’t know. You know, the differences (unintelligible). MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: I didn’t… DAVID WILSON: Do you… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: No. I mean, quite frankly
we have the resources to do like one video a year. And, you know, it has to be as broad as possible. It’s like I wish we had the resources to do
that but we don’t at the moment. DAVID WILSON: I think what (Charlotte)’s talking
about is do you approach it from almost a racial ethnic perspective or peer group perspective? MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Peer group. The other big
project that we do at the Partnership is the Above the Influence campaign. Now that there’s no more federal funding for
it we’re taking that back home. And Above the Influence is the platform for
anything that is teen focused. Medicine Abuse Project is our parent campaign. This documentary was not intended for teens. Parents probably wouldn’t be as sensitive to a teen’s peer group. But for kids we want it to have that very
peer to peer feel. And, you know, we find that kids are very
accepting of differences, you know, more so than we probably think they would be. The ethos of Above the Influence campaign
is peer to peer feel. So when we do a teen communication it’s a different story. MAN 1: Understanding that your budget
is limited… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. MAN 1: …but there are a number of
community based organizations who have the technology and they also have the young people put together
campaigns like this. And maybe that’s throwing out the opportunity
for an award winning public service announcement may interest young people across the country. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes. You know, it’s funny
you mentioned that. With Above the Influence we just did a “Made by Me” campaign and a young woman named (Gina) from Revere,
Massachusetts won it and we teamed her up with a whole professional production team to produce her spot and did this whole back
story on it and a behind the scenes video that went with it and everything. And it was incredibly popular. It was a great endeavor. Those kinds of things are huge. MAN 1: I mean, and, you know, put it
out there and let them go for it and you’d be surprised
at the messages that you come up with. MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes, yes. WOMAN 1: Also a tool kit for like a local
community access television station in order for them to, like, pick up the topic,
look at the topic and recruit teens in their area to do a community… MARCIA LEE TAYLOR: Yes, yes. We should think
about it. WOMAN 1: If there was a toolkit of some
kind that they could do the Above the Influence or this one or the tobacco one. DAVID WILSON: Well I think I will close on
that note. I just wanted to remind everybody on the phone
that we still are in National Prevention Week. We have two more days left. Today’s focus is suicide prevention and our
last day of prevention week is tomorrow with the focus on the promotion of mental health. Again I want to remind everyone that not only
will this Webinar but the Webinars that we have had over the
past week will be available online along with the Power Point presentations in
about two weeks. They have to be transcribed and 508 complied. Again that website is www.samhsa.gov/preventionweek. My name is David Wilson. I am the Coordinator. You can always call me with any questions
that you might have relating to anything regarding National Prevention Week. And my email address is [email protected] I thank you for your time and I want to definitely thank Marcia for
sharing not only her expertise and her knowledge but for traveling all the way down here to
be with us at SAMHSA. Can we all give her a round of applause in
the room? Thank you. OPERATOR: That concludes today’s conference. Thank you for participating. Please disconnect your lines at this time
and thank you.

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