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.
How do you avoid opioid addiction? Ask questions. Talk to your doctor about alternatives. Follow the instructions. Stop as soon as you can. Safely dispose of leftover pills. Never share pills. Learn more about prevention at https://t.co/sS9Jc2PyRP. pic.twitter.com/t09rTg09xk
— Veterans Affairs (@DeptVetAffairs) June 7, 2018