Working Together to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse and Overdose Deaths
Lead: Stephanie Chen & Barbara Roberts
Many people are not aware that the misuse or abuse of prescription drugs are as dangerous as illegal drugs, and can lead to unintended injury, addiction, and death. Recent data indicates that 41% of teens believe that it is safer to get high using a prescription drug than it is with an illicit drug, oftentimes due to the belief that prescription drugs are prescribed by doctors and thus must be safe. As a result, a critical first step in addressing the opioid epidemic is to raise awareness and educate the general public about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.
The Community Education Action Team will:
Prescription drug abuse is an extensive, community-based problem that requires a similarly comprehensive solution. Given its community impact, policy development and legislative changes have the potential to significantly influence public health and safety Specifically, states and communities around the country have passed laws or changed regulations related to a wide range of issues related to prescription drug abuse, such as creating and strengthening prescription drug monitoring programs, medication disposal programs, reducing inappropriate prescribing, and expanding access to naloxone and substance abuse treatment.
To this end, the Community Education Action Team will work with other pertinent action teams to: