National News

CDC launches "Rx Awareness" to help fight prescription opioid abuse

Posted September 25, 2017 12:26 p.m. EDT

— Everyday in the United States, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is making an effort to raise awareness about the risks of opioid abuse.

The Rx Awareness campaign will feature real-life accounts of people recovering from opioid use disorder and people who have lost loved ones to prescription opioid overdose.

"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is committed to using evidence-based methods to communicate targeted messages about the opioid crisis and prevent addiction and misuse in every way we can," said HHS Secretary Tom Price, M.D. "Prevention is a key piece of the five-point strategy HHS unveiled under the Trump Administration for combating this crisis, which has left no corner of America untouched."

The campaign materials include videos, audio ads, social media ads, internet banners, web graphics, billboards, and posters highlighting the importance of knowing the risks associated with prescription opioids to prevent misuse and overdose.

"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."

Beginning September 25, campaign ads will run for 14 weeks in Ohio, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. Broader release is expected in additional states funded through CDC's Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States and Data-Driven Prevention Initiative programs.