Millennium Health, a leading health solutions company, and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation announced the availability of a short film, If Only, about the dangers of youth misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.
The film and a discussion toolkit are now available online as a component of the Drop Them Off campaign that launched earlier this year. "If Only,’’ which premiered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and San Diego, aims to increase awareness among teenagers, parents and the public about the importance of ensuring safe use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs.
“Prescription drug misuse and abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and this film illustrates the danger this poses to youth today,” said Brock Hardaway, chief executive officer of Millennium Health. “We are taking a grass-roots approach to providing information about the problem, steps to safely use, store and dispose of prescription drugs, and materials that empower adults to initiate discussions with young people about the dangers and consequences of misusing prescription drugs.”
According to the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids:
• One in four teens has used a prescription drug not prescribed to them in order to get high or change their mood.
• Two-thirds of teens who have abused pain relievers in the past year say they got them from family members and friends.
• Ninety percent of addictions start in the teenage years.
• Prescription drugs are now the most commonly abused drugs within the past month among 12 and 13 year olds.
“As the film ‘If Only’ shows, it’s critical that every parent and teen know the dangers that prescription drugs pose in every neighborhood, in every city,” said James Wahlberg, executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation. “Through our partnership with Millennium Health, we are giving adults new tools that will help them take action to prevent kids from accessing prescription drugs, and to help them have necessary and effective conversations with kids about the issues.”
Millennium Health and the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation launched the Drop Them Off campaign in collaboration with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’ Medicine Abuse Project. The campaign aims to help educate parents, youth and the public about the dangers of youth misusing and abusing prescription drugs by encouraging proper use, storage and disposal to curb access.
Mark Wahlberg and his family established the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation on the belief that no child should be prevented from living up to his or her potential due to financial hardship. The Foundation works to improve the quality of life for teens living in urban communities and distributes funds to support local youth service and enrichment programs nationwide. A life-long member and advocate of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Mark comes from a family of nine children with limited means and spent most of his afternoons and evenings at his local club. He credits a large part of his success to the fact that he was fortunate to spend his free time in a positive and nurturing environment.