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“Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths in the United States (U.S.) involve a prescription opioid. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have tripled since 1999 and so have sales of these prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids, with more than 15,000 prescription opioid overdose deaths in 2015”.

The recently launched Rx Awareness campaign features real-life accounts of people recovering from opioid use, as well as people who have lost loved ones to prescription opioids. The goal of this campaign is to raise awareness that prescription opioids can be addictive and dangerous and that education regarding this topic is more relevant today! The campaign also strives to decrease the number of individuals who use opioids recreationally or overuse them.

You too can help 

The opioid epidemic is affecting our communities and you can take action to end this opioid overdose epidemic around the world. Partnerships within state and local agencies, organizations across the country, healthcare providers and community members must share the messages and resources. We all have a role to play – it starts with addressing prescription opioid misuse, abuse and overdose.

  • Learn more about prescription opioids so you can help those at risk for opioid use disorder and overdose in your community.
  • Help those struggling with addiction find the right care and treatment. Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted and help is available if you or someone you know is battling opioid use disorder.
  • Spread the word and increase awareness in your community about the risk and dangers of prescription opioids.
  • Read this overview of the campaign[PDF – 5 MB], and learn how to launch the campaign in your local community.


Great Plains Quality Innovation Network has professionals working in our region to assist practitioners, pharmacists and health systems in the implementation of coordinated interventions designed to increase medication safety awareness. Visit our website to learn more.

Source: CDC