Urban Outfitters is under fire by organizations, treatment centers and former prescription drug addicts for launching a line of products related to prescription drugs. It includes shot glasses, shot "syringes," flasks,coasters and Rx pint glasses.
The groups are appalled and the Partnership at Drugfree.org has launched a petition to ask Urban Outfitters to withdraw the items. The organization says Urban Outfitters, which is popular with teens, promotes prescription drug abuse.
"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," the organizations say in a news release. It says teens and their parents often don't understand the health risks associated with misuse and abuse of prescription 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," Drugfree.org says.
The products have also offended former drug abusers.
"I am so disheartened by these products," said Amanda, in a comment on the petition. "Being a former addict myself, I have seen deaths of loved ones by mixing alcohol and prescription medication... This is not funny and needs to end."
A mental health professional also chimed in.
"I earnestly hope you hear from enough consumers non-support for this irrational product promotion and rethink the value of saving lives versus potential ROI," Kristi Gourd wrote in her comments on the petition.
Drugfree.org says medicine abuse has increased 33% over the past five years and that one in every four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug.
"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," Drugfree.org said.