After a multi-state campaign led by an anti-drug group, Urban Outfitters has decided to pull a line of flasks, shot glasses and pint glasses that look like prescription pill bottles, AP reports.
After pressure from anti-drug groups, legislators and 24 attorneys general, along with Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Urban Outfitters said it would discontinue the “Prescription Line” due to “misinterpretation,” the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
"In the 20,000 products that comprise our assortment, there are styles that represent humor, satire, and hyperbole," Urban Outfitters said in a statement released to CNN. "In this extensive range of product we recognize that from time to time there may be individual items that are misinterpreted by people who are not our customer. As a result of this misinterpretation we are electing to discontinue these few styles from our current product offering."
In early May, Urban Outfitters received complaints about the products like a syringe shooter, that is described by the retailer as a way to “prescribe yourself a small dose of pleasure” and to “fill it up with booze and let the healing begin.” The 7-ounce “Boozemin” flask has the words “boozemin hydroalki” printed on it with a faux warning label that says “cheers and enjoy.”
Opponents cite the growing drug problems among teens. "There is a national health crisis related to the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs," the group of 24 state attorneys general wrote to Urban Outfitters, saying the line of products undermines their efforts against prescription drug abuse. Doctors agree, one calling it the “biggest man-made epidemic in the United States.”
According to drugfree.org, which campaigned against the prescription product line, 90 percent of addiction starts in teenage years. The products, the group says, “wrongfully glorified the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs,” and it commended Urban Outfitters for discontinuing selling them.
Marsha Ford, president of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, wrote to the retailer pointing to 21,752 cases local poison centers responded to of teens abusing painkillers in 2011. “Products such as these minimize the dangers of medicine abuse and misuse and are very dangerous," she wrote.
Beshear, who also wrote a letter to the CEO of Urban Outfitters, is happy with the retailer’s decision.
“I'm very pleased that the store has changed course," the governor said in a statement Wednesday. "There's nothing fashionable about prescription drug abuse, and selling teen-targeted items that glamorize prescription drugs is repulsive."