CDC Launches Rx Abuse Awareness Campaign

In its continuing battle against the opioid epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a new communication campaign to educate the public on the dangers of prescription opioids to prevent misuse and abuse. Using the slogan, “It only takes a little to lose a lot,” the Rx Awareness campaign features true stories from people who have struggled with opioid use disorder or whose loved ones have died from an overdose of prescription opioids. More than 183,000 people died in the U.S. from overdoses related to these drugs between 1999 and 2015.

The CDC has made the Rx Awareness materials, including videos, audio ads, social media ads, internet banners, web graphics, billboards, and posters, available for state and local agencies to access and incorporate into their own efforts. The CDC is also running campaign ads from late September to mid-December in Ohio, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Mexico, states particularly affected by this public health crisis.

“This campaign is part of CDC’s continued support for states on the frontlines of the opioid overdose epidemic,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “These heartbreaking stories of the devastation brought on by opioid abuse have the potential to open eyes—and save lives.”

In combination with CDC’s Overdose Prevention in States program, the Rx Awareness campaign, is the latest effort from the Department of Health and Human Services to increase understanding of the crisis through better public health data and reporting. The other parts of the department’s five-part strategy to combat the opioid epidemic are:

  • Improving access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services, including the full range of medication-assisted treatments.
  • Targeting availability and distribution of overdose-reversing drugs.
  • Providing support for cutting-edge research on pain and addiction.
  • Advancing better practices for pain management.

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