Prescription drug abuse poses danger to youth

Rick Gale  |   Monday Nov. 24th, 2014

The Drug Enforcement Agency Administration (DEA) is tasked with combating drug smuggling and use within the United States. In addition to the enforcement mission, the DEA is also committed to reducing the demand for drugs through their Demand Reduction Program (DRP).

A major component of the DRP includes collaboration with community coalitions, fraternal and civic organizations, youth-serving agencies, state and local government, and school districts to reduce the demand for drugs.

During a time when prescription drug abuse continues to be the nation’s fastest growing drug problem and is taking the lives at an increased rate, the DRP is providing brochures, fact sheets, drug abuse curricula, and disseminating information through presentations at conferences and school forums.

The DRP uses three major concepts of drug prevention research as the core of their strategy to develop and disseminate effective drug information to youth, parents, and caregivers:

   1. The teen brain is still developing. The frontal cortex, the area of judgment is not fully developed until the age of around 25; therefore, it is very important that teens do not use drugs.

   2. When youth perceive that drugs are harmful, they will not use drugs.

   3. The longer a child delays using drugs, the lower the chances are of having a substance abuse disorder or getting addicted to the drug.

The DEA also maintains two websites to provide information on the harmful effects of drugs.   provides a wealth of information about various drugs including a section on facts and fiction about drugs, the consequences of using drugs with topics on addiction, and impaired driving.   provides drug education information for parents and caregivers to help identify their child’s drug use, drug paraphernalia, and warning signs of abuse.

For more information about the Demand Reduction Program visit:

About the Author(s)

Rick Gale

Rick Gale is Assistant National Director for the Elks Drug Awareness Program, a Bozeman Public Schools Guest Teacher, and member of Veterans Alliance of Southwest Montana.

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