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NOPE Task Force – Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education

The Facts

Nearly everyone has been affected by the disease of addiction, either personally or by a family member or friend.

Consider the Facts...

Our schools

  • "60% of High Schoolers, 32% of Middle Schoolers have seen drugs used, kept or sold on school grounds." (Source: National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XVII: Teens from CASAColumbia)
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    • In 2014, there were over 39,000 unintentional drug overdose deaths in the United States. (Source: Center for Disease Control)
    • Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death. Drug overdoses cause more deaths than motor vehicle crashes. In 2014, there were approximately one and a half times more drug overdose deaths in the United States than deaths from motor vehicle crashes. (Source: Center for Disease Control)
    • Deaths are largely due to misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. Majority of deaths more than one drug is found. (Source: Leonard J. Paulozzi, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Epidemiologist National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
    • 2.5 million emergency department visits are attributed to drug misuse or overdose. (Source: Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), 2011 National ED Estimates)

Prescription Drugs

  • Every day 2,000 teens in the United States try prescription drugs to get high for the first time. (Source: Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)
  • 60% of teens who have abused prescription painkillers did so before age 15. (Source: Partnership for Drug-Free Kids)
  • 45% of those who use prior to the age of 15 will later develop an addiction. (Source: Misuse of Prescription Drugs. national Surveys on Drug Use and Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2006)
  • More than 29 percent of teens in treatment are dependent on tranquilizers, sedatives, amphetamines, and other stimulants (all types of prescription drugs). (Source: SAMHSA: Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions by primary substance of abuse according to sex, age group, race, and ethnicity: Treatment Episode Data set 2004)
  • 12 to 17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than they abuse ecstasy, crack/cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine combined. (Source: Partnership for a Drug Free America)
  • There are as many new abusers age 12 to 17 of prescription drugs as there are of marijuana (Source: Partnership for a Drug Free America)
  • Nearly half (49%) of all college students either binge drink, use illicit drugs or misuse prescription drugs. (Source: Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University)


  • Forty-five percent of those who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 14 become alcohol dependent at some time in their lives, compared with 10% of those who wait at least until age 21. (Source: Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine)
  • Depending on the type of medication, mixing with alcohol can cause: increased risk for overdose, fainting, changes in blood pressure, difficulty breathing, liver damage, stomach bleeding, blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, increased risk of seizures, death. (Source: NIAAA. Harmful Interactions Mixing Alcohol with Medicines, 2007)
  • Combing alcohol with anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications can cause: increased risk of overdose, increased feelings of depression or hopelessness, and suicide in adolescents. (Source: NIAA. Harmful Interactions: Mixing Alcohol with Medicines, 2007)
  • Teens who drink with their parents at home are more likely to drink elsewhere, drink more often and score higher on a measure of "problem drinking" two years later. (Source: Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, 2010)


  • More teens are in treatment with a primary diagnosis of marijuana dependence than for all other illicit drugs combined. (Source: Treatment Episodes Data Set (TEDS) 2000-2010, SAMHSA, 2011)
  • Teens age 12 to 17 who regularly smoke marijuana were shown to be three times more likely than non-users to have suicidal thoughts. (Source: Greenblatt, J. Adolescent self-reported behaviors and their association with marijuana use, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 1998)


  • Smoking can kill you. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. More than 480,000 Americans die from tobacco-related causes each year, most of whom began using tobacco before the age of 18. (Source: Center for Disease Control)
  • Smoking puts your friends and family at risk. Each year approximately 7,333 nonsmokers die of lung cancer from second-hand smoke. Additionally, 33,951 nonsmokers die from heart disease caused by second-hand smoke every year. (Source: Center for Disease Control)

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