Contact Urban Outfitters to Stop Selling Products that Promote Prescription Drug Abuse
Urban Outfitters, the national retail store popular with teens, is currently selling pint glasses, flasks and shot glasses made to look like prescription pill bottles. These products make light of prescription drug misuse and abuse, a dangerous behavior that is responsible for more deaths in the United States each year than heroin and cocaine combined. Medicine abuse has increased 33 percent over the past five years with one in four teens having misused or abused a prescription drug in their lifetime. Combined with alcohol, the misuse and abuse of prescription medications can be especially dangerous, making the Urban Outfitter Rx pint and shot glasses and flasks even more disturbing.
As recent research from The Partnership at Drugfree.org shows, teens and parents alike do not understand the health risks associated with the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs. In fact, more than a quarter of teens mistakenly believe that misusing and abusing prescription drugs is safer than using street drugs.
Tongue-in-cheek products that normalize and promote prescription drug abuse only serve to reinforce the misperception about the dangers associated with abusing medicine and put more teens at risk.
Urban Outfitters announced Friday it will discontinue selling products that promote prescription drug abuse. The move comes after a campaign by public health groups, state attorneys general and legislators.
The national retail store, popular with teens, has been selling pint glasses, flasks and shot glasses made to look like prescription pill bottles. Last month, The Partnership at Drugfree.org called on consumers to contact Urban Outfitters and ask them to remove the products from their stores and website. A week later, the Chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Hal Rogers, urged Urban Outfitters to stop selling the products. In late May, 23 attorneys general sent a letter to Urban Outfitters CEO and Chairman Richard A. Hayne, asking him to remove products promoting prescription drug abuse from the stores’ shelves.
Time.com reports the American Association of Poison Control Centers and 57 local poison centers last week wrote a letter to the company, asking them to pull the products.
In a statement, Urban Outfitters said, “In the 20,000 products that comprise our assortment, there are styles that represent humor, satire, and hyperbole. In this extensive range of product we recognize that from time to time there may be individual items that are misinterpreted by people who are not our customer. As a result of this misinterpretation we are electing to discontinue these few styles from our current product offering.”