Grants help at-risk youth learn about dangers of Rx drug misuse


Do you have an idea for a grassroots public health program that addresses prescription medication safety for underserved or at-risk youth? Apply by Sept. 12 for a Healthy Living Grant from the AMA Foundation to see your project come to life. 


Proposed projects involve partnerships between medical organizations and community nonprofit or government organizations with annual operating budgets of $2 million or less, and must target an underserved or at-risk population of youth and young adults between the ages of 2 and 21.

Last year, the grant program awarded 30 grants totaling more than $240,000 to community organizations in 19 states, supporting prescription medication safety projects that met the needs of local communities.

One grant project last year is helping coaches educate high school athletes about the risky path from pain relief to addiction. The Robert Crown Center for Health Education in Hinsdale, Illinois, developed the 3-Point Advantage program to train Illinois high school coaches how to explain the science behind addiction to their student athletes.

Following one 3-Point Advantage presentation, a wrestler approached Barb Barrett, a registered nurse and health educator at the center, and told her that he had overused pain pills because he thought he was following the instructions.

“He had no idea that prescription medication could be addictive,” said Barrett. “He took the painkillers every four hours, despite the fact that his pain did not necessitate it.”

Other grant-winning projects from last year include:

  • Formation of a task force in a local area to deliver educational programming on reducing prescription drug abuse among teenagers
  • A social media campaign, created by teens for other teens, about the dangers of prescription drug abuse
  • School-based education in health classes and outreach to parents
  • Educational programs for elementary school students that encourage healthy habits related to prescription drug use

View the complete list of last year’s grant recipients.

Applications are due by 6 p.m. Eastern time on Sept. 12. Read the frequently asked questions on the Healthy Living Grants Web page for more information.