and The Clinton Foundation Health Matters Initiative

President Bill Clinton and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly

President Bill Clinton and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly

UPDATE: Our work is now featured on the Clinton Foundation website

On Monday President Bill Clinton joined a panel at NYU to discuss the impact and policy implications of prescription drug abuse. The panel was moderated by Melinda Beck of the Wall Street Journal and also included New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, New York University President John Sexton, and Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow. contributed to the conversation by collaborating with the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) to create an information graphic that details the scope of the problem of prescription drug abuse, particularly among college students.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose. This statistic is largely driven by off-label pharmaceutical consumption. In a practice called diversion, the vast majority of off-label prescription medications are obtained through friends and family.  

The rise of prescription drug abuse does seem tied to increased supply. According to CHMI, between 1991 and 2010 consumption of prescription stimulants, as well as other pharmaceutical drugs, increased from five million to 45 million consumers. 

Over the next five years, CHMI is focused on increasing awareness and prevention, and aims to reduce the number of 18-26-year-olds who misuse prescription drugs for the first time.

- Dan