Prescription Drug Overdose

pills across a U.S. mapCheck out the new web-based training "Pathways to Safer Opioid Use"

Across the United States, 40 people die each day because of overdosing on narcotic prescription medications. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are: 

* opioid painkillers like Vicodin and codeine

* depressants, or medicines to treat anxiety and aid sleep, such as Valium and Xanax

* stimulants used to treat ADHD, such as Adderall and Ritalin

APHA supports prescription drug monitoring programs as one way to fight the epidemic. Find out more about the problem and how public health is responding.

Surgeon General's Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health

APHA poster: "Prescription Drug Abuse, An American Epidemic" (PDF)

Case studies: Learn about prescription drug overdose prevention in Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode IslandTennessee, Utah, Vermont and Washington (all are PDFs)

Rx Awareness uses real-life examples to educate Americans about the dangers of prescription opioids.

APHA Policy Statements: 

Reducing Opioid Overdose through Education and Naloxone Distribution

Defining and Implementing a Public Health Response to Drug Use and Misuse

Advocacy: 

Comments to the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis regarding the commission's interim report (PDF)

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies letter urging the Missouri General Assembly to authorize a state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDF)

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies letters to House and Senate appropriators calling for funding for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (PDF)

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies letter urging the Missouri General Assembly to authorize a state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDF)

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies letter supporting S. 524, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (PDF)

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies comments regarding CDC's proposed 2016 guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain

Thank-you letter to Sen. Markey for promoting the need to address prescription drug abuse and heroin overdose (PDF)

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies Letter in Support of a State Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for Missouri (PDF)

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies letter in support of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (PDF)

Webinar: Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention

The Nation's Health: Poor pain management leaves millions of Americans suffering

Public Health Newswire:

Opioid epidemic highlights White House’s 2014 drug control strategy
Q&A with CDC researcher, Mark Faul: Disparities in naloxone administration
New drug control director to APHA: Curbing drug abuse starts with prevention
CDC: Overprescribing causes prescription painkiller abuse
‘Drug Czar’ Kerlikowske promotes October prevention initiatives
High rates of substance abuse among military impetus behind new report
CDC examines methadone risks, prevention strategy in teleconference

Storify: HIV outbreak in Indiana: Rural communities face risks

American Journal of Public Health: Allowing basic EMTs to administer naloxone could help prevent overdose deaths

APHA is part of the Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies, which supports policies to reduce abuse and promote treatment options.

And check out Turn the Tide Rx: The Surgeon General's Call to End the Opioid Crisis.