Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Urban Outfitters: WTF??

When I found out about this earlier today I was stunned. And if I didn't know my source better, I might've even thought it was a gag. But The Partnership at would never joke about something like this.

Urban Outfitters, the national retail store that caters to and is beloved by teenagers, is now selling a line of products that look like prescription drug bottles, syringes, medicine bottles, and actual prescriptions. These products make light of prescription drug misuse and abuse, as well as alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

I'm not sure who decided these products were a good idea, but do you want your teen--or any other teen for that matter--walking into Urban Outfitters and having these kinds of products pitched to them?

I went to the Urban Outfitters website and did a quick search for some of these items. I came up with six items that just blew my mind:

*A set of three shot glasses designed to look like prescription medication bottles.

*A can cooler designed to look like a prescription medication bottle.

*A set of four "prescription coasters," straight from Dr. Al Koholic.

*A set of three "syringe shot shooters."

*A "Boozemin" flask, designed to look like a bottle of medicine that's "RX Only" and prescribed by Dr. Al Koholic.

*An "RX" pint glass.

As the father of a recovering heroin addict--who at one time abused prescription drugs as well--I am sickened by these products. The decision by Urban Outfitters to sell these things is irresponsible and reckless.

According to The Partnership at

Prescription drug misuse and abuse [is] 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 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.

I urge you to take action and ask Urban Outfitters to remove these products from their stores and their website.

You can e-mail the CEO and chairman of Urban Outfitters, Richard A. Hayne:

You can send a letter to the company:

Urban Outfitters Inc.
5000 South Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19112-1495

You can reach out to the company via their Twitter account: (@UrbanOutfitters)

Or send them a message through their Facebook page:

You can e-mail Oona McCullough, their Director of Investor Relations:

Or why not go all out and contact each and every one of their Executive Officers and Board of Directors? All of their e-mail addresses are listed at this link:

The method you choose doesn't matter. What does matter is that you take some action. There is power in numbers. Let Urban Outfitters know that you want these products gone. And tell your friends and family members to do the same.

There is also a petition you can sign at this link:

Finally, you can "Like" this Facebook page I created:

Stop Urban Outfitters from Promoting RX Drug Abuse & Alcoholism

Thanks in advance.

P.S. As much as I hate to call further attention to these products, I wanted to post photos of them so you could see how ridiculous and irresponsible they are. These photos are directly from the Urban Outfitters website.

P.P.S. The same company that owns Urban Outfitters also owns Anthropologie and Free People. I would suggest a boycott of all three stores until Urban Outfitters pulls this disgusting merchandise from their stores and website.


  1. This is what is "cool" for this age group now. It is hip to be addicted to be something, they all want to claim illnesses and mental diseases. Don't fight the companies that make money off what's vogue. Fight what started the mind set in the first place. We can't change how the world reacts to us until we change how we react to the world.

    1. I don't agree. Fight everything that endangers our kids. You have to start somewhere. Good job, DDD

  2. That is sick. I will not be purchasing anything from them nor will I allow my children to do so.

  3. Addiction is not a mind set. It is a disease.

  4. it's never been hip to be addicted to something and promoting a company that exploits drug abuse is not hip either.

    in fact it's down right wrong and in the spirit of Marlboro setting up a cancer clinic within their own factories--complete hogwash and hypocritical.

    So, yeah i emailed the CEO

  5. My 18 year old son died from an accidental overdose of Opana - first time use, given to him by a 17 year old addict. Problem is huge here in So Cal. Good job posting on this absolutely amazing idiocy by Urban Outfitters. How bout a little help for our teens?

  6. This is disgraceful. As an addict in recovery, I'm appalled that anyone would think that the mindset of our youth is that it is "hip to be addicted to something". I'm into the recovery scene in Macomb County, MI. I also have a 2 years young daughter, but I am considered the youth still at age 28. And I can tell you that among my friends, recovering and the normal people, it IS NOT hip to be an addict. I e-mailed the CEO, signed the petition, and liked the fb page. This is horrific to me. I'm going to talk to people at FAN and see what they are doing about this. As I gear up for the 5k to RUN DRUGS OUT OF TOWN, I can't help but wonder how much of our hard work is being undone by products like this. I have ben reading your blog for a month now. I went back and read every last entry. I'm so happy to see your son is doing well. Your blog inspired me to become more involved than I already am and that has helped my recovery immensely. Thank you!!