New documentary takes a look at teen prescription drug abuse
CASAColumbia and ThePartnershipatDrugFree.org co-hosted a screening of the documentary “Out of Reach,” which follows one Dallas teen as he interviews his classmates about their prescription drug use habits. The 30 minute film shines a light on how frequently teens take prescription drugs that are not prescribed to them.
The film was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org and included:
- Dr. Karen Soren, Associate Professor, Pediatrics & Public Health, Columbia University Medical Center and Director, Adolescent Medicine New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital
- Alan Schwarz, National Correspondent for The New York Times
- Adrienne Abbate, MPA, Director, Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA)
The panelists debated the root cause of teen prescription drug abuse—pointing to doctors, governing bodies like the FDA or DEA, parents and even the kids themselves. Several suggestions were made on how to fix the prescription drug abuse problem including, better educating doctors, teens and parents; making it easier for parents to dispose of unneeded prescription drugs; and continuing education for physicians regarding new and changing drugs.
The film was created by teen filmmaker Cyrus Stowe in collaboration with director Tucker Capps (of A&E’s “Intervention”) and The Partnership at Drugfree.org's Medicine Abuse Project.