VA joins nationwide effort to stop opioid abuse

New public service campaign reaches out to young adults, community



Today, the White House made a significant announcement about combating youth opioid abuse and unveiled a new youth opioid prevention ad campaign.

The opioid epidemic is spreading across America and is affecting a widening group of people. In fact the impact of this crisis cannot be overstated.

  • It is estimated more than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to prescription or illicit opioids in 2018. (Source: WH Fact Sheet)
  • 63,632 Americans died of drug overdose in 2016, nearly two-thirds of which involved a prescription or illicit opioid. (Source: CDC )
  • In 2013, more than two-thirds of individuals admitted into substance use treatment programs report first use of opioids (other than heroin) by age 25. (Source: SAMSHA)
  • Nearly seven percent of high school seniors report having misused opioids (other than heroin). (Source: NIH )
  • In 2015, over seventy percent of all overdose deaths among those ages 15 to 24 involved an opioid. (Source: HHS)

President Donald J. Trump is dedicating his first public service campaign to combating opioid misuse and addiction among youth.

On March 19, 2018, President Trump unveiled his Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand, putting in place a concrete plan to fight the epidemic.

“Last October, we declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency,” said President Trump. “Since then, we’ve worked with Congress to ensure at least 6 billion additional dollars, going through right now, in new funding in 2018 and 2019 to combat the opioid crisis.”

President Trump’s plan to combat the opioid crisis focuses on the following areas: prevention and education; law enforcement, interdiction and disrupting drug supply chains, and treatment and recovery.

The acronym STOP is a helpful reminder of some of the things that need to be done to combat the epidemic

STOP OPIOID ABUSE

  • SAFE DISPOSAL – When a doctor determines there is no longer a need for the prescribed pain pill, safe disposal is critical. Don’t flush or throw out the pills. Many pharmacies and police stations will destroy prescription drugs you no longer need or want. Safe disposal sites can be located through the www.justice.com/SaveLives
  • TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR- Have a conversation with your doctor about the risks if you are prescribed an opioid. You can ask for alternative treatment for pain or ask for a limited prescription.
  • OPIOID KNOWLEDGE – It’s important to know which medications contain opioids. Opioids (or opiates) are a type of drugs with powerful pain-relieving properties. Doctors o_en prescribe these for severe pain, a_er a surgery or for a root canal. Opioids have many names like Vicodin, Percocet, Tramadol, OxyContin, Dilaudid and codeine. Illegal opioids include heroin and illicit synthetic opioids.
  • PROPER PRESCRIPTION USE – When prescribed by a doctor, opioids can be used in a responsible way to reduce pain. Talk to your doctor to understand how o_en you should take medication and if there are alternatives options to manage your pain.

Author

VAntage Point

Comments

  1. Ron Stapley    

    If there’s something better out there for pain, give it to me, otherwise, I just don’t care, and I don’t believe the country does either. This is all just political theater, and its cruel to those of us in real pain. Is it better to stop prescribing opiates and watch people suffer or commit suicide from the suffering, isolation, and depression that all that causes? Or is it better to take a life-saving drug away from those who need it in favor of those who have made sad choices. That seems to be the question.

  2. قطعات موبایل    

    This is all just political theater, and its cruel to those of us in real pain. Is it better to stop prescribing opiates and watch people suffer or commit suicide from the suffering

  3. Robert    

    It has always been the abusers and lawbreakers take away from the folks that need the help and don’t abuse and break the law.

  4. Liz    

    AGREE.AGREE.AGREE. This is just another Big Pharma ploy to vilify this Opioid epidemic and this whole Suicide by prescription drugs! Heroin overdose has been the forefront leader of drug overdoses over decades. Why aren’t those numbers being addressed? It is Veterans, those that have suffered injuries while Serving their country that have been cut off -COLD TURKEY, just so VA can state their Opioid prescription rates are lower than most Private Sectors. The Private Sector does not, nor have they ever had the population of patients with the most severe of injuries, and chronic pain as the Soldiers that give the freedoms that so many Providers that are employed by the Veterans Affairs come to this Country seeking employment in a place where no accountability is mandated, much less a valid Medical License to practice. Once a Veteran seeks pain relief from another source, VA can state that Suicide was not a Veteran, again, not accountable.

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