CDC Launches Campaign to Battle Prescription Opioid Epidemic

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Rx Awareness is part of CD efforts to raise public awareness to opioid danger.
Rx Awareness is part of CD efforts to raise public awareness to opioid danger.

(HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is launching a communication campaign featuring accounts of people recovering from opioid use disorder, and those who have lost someone to opioid overdose, in an effort to fight the prescription overdose epidemic.

The CDC's campaign aims to increase awareness and knowledge of the risks associated with prescription opioids and stop inappropriate use. More than 183,000 people died in the United States from 1999 to 2015 from overdoses related to prescription opioids; more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids and more than 40 people die from prescription opioid overdoses every day.

The Rx Awareness campaign uses the tagline "it only takes a little to lose a lot," and employs testimonials to educate the public. The campaign is part of the CDC's Overdose Prevention in States efforts, which employ a five-point strategy to fighting the opioid epidemic: improving access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services; targeting availability of overdose-reversing drugs; strengthening the understanding of the crisis; providing support for research on pain and addiction; and advancing better pain management practices.

"This campaign is part of CDC's continued support for states on the frontlines of the opioid overdose epidemic," Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., director of the CDC, said in a statement. "These heartbreaking stories of the devastation brought on by opioid abuse have the potential to open eyes -- and save lives."

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