What one person may find humorous may not be so funny to others. This is the case in the Urban Outfitters “Prescription Line” products. Anti-drug groups, legislators and politicians gathered together and requested that Urban Outfitters re-examine its line of products that glorified drinking alcohol and taking drugs. The products undo all the work that so many professionals do in helping people understand the dangers and risks of substance abuse and addiction.
Shot glasses and pint glasses crafted to resemble prescription pill bottles offer customers a chance to indulge in alcohol while imitating a drug overdose. A syringe shooter, designed to be filled up with alcohol, entices customers to prescribe themselves some pleasure. These are a few of the products which Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, 24 attorneys general and multiple other anti-drug groups asked to be recalled.
Urban Outfitters believed that there was a misinterpretation of the products. They merely meant them to be humorous. They agreed to remove the “Prescription Line” from their list of 20,000 other products after multiple groups voiced their distaste for the alcohol glasses.
During a time when prescription drug abuse is causing serious addiction and death across the country, health specialists and legislators do not find products that poke fun at substance abuse very funny. State attorneys general responded to Urban Outfitters by saying that they feel the products are causing set-backs in substance abuse prevention and treatment.
Others like Marsha Ford, president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, also complained about how the products lessen the severity of abusing prescription drugs and medicines. Ford wrote to Urban Outfitters to voice her concern and in her defense she cited that, in 2011, local poison centers saw 21,752 teens come through their doors because they had abused painkillers.
Studies show that the earlier a child experiments with drugs and alcohol, the more likely he or she is to have an addiction problem to that substance later in life. The website drugfree.org states that it is in the teenage years when 90 percent of addiction begins. This organization also sent letters of their disdain for the Prescription Line products.
The media can impact the decisions of teens that are exposed to more life choices with each day. During the teenage years, youth are learning the differences between safe fun and risky fun and making individual choices about their health and lifestyle. While Urban Outfitters may have only been trying to infuse some humor or satire into their Prescription Line products, substance abuse health specialists and legislators feel they have made a positive step in helping to guide youth back into the reality of the serious dangers of abusing medicine.