New t-shirts glorifying prescription drug abuse are causing major friction among activists and parents.


CLEVELAND -- It is an epidemic: One in four teens has abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime.

And it's nothing to joke about.

That's what some say stores are doing with a line of t-shirts that glorify the substances. One reads "adderall," like the name on the back of a sports jersey. There are even coffee mugs.

Outrage over the merchandise is growing.

Parent Natalie Friedl does not think this t-shirt is a laughing matter.

"First time [I've] seen anything like this and [it's] not funny. It's making a mockery of mental illness and addiction really," Friedl said.

It's very personal for Friedl. She has a son who takes a prescription like adderall for ADHD, and after working in the field of addiction, she has seen what abusing prescriptions can do.

"We are losing teenagers everyday to overdose and death. We are losing them," she said.

These shirts are being sold by a California chain called Kitson. The ad says, "just what the doctor ordered."

The Adderall, Xanax and Vicodin shirts cost up to $100. The company says proceeds will go to drug prevention organizations, but those organizations and even pharmaceutical companies have asked Kitson to stop selling the shirts.

"[It] glorifies drug use on so many levels," said teen drug and alcohol educator Honey Bell-Bey.

Honey Bell Bey teaches kids about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and is appalled by the shirts and even a "prescription shot glass" being sold by Urban Outfitters.

After public pressure, those glasses and mugs were pulled from shelves.

"While we're, in Cuyahoga County, in the midst of an epidemic. Literally more deaths from opiates than homicides, so I think in light of where we are, come on. I fail to see humor," said Bell-Bey.