Prescription drug misuse and abuse
- National Prevention Week 2020, May 10–16 (05/04/20)
- Prevention Technical Transfer Centers releases Pandemic Response Resources (03/27/20)
- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) cancels National Drug Take Back Day, tips for public awareness strategies (03/23/20)
- Public comment on recommendations for primary care–based interventions to prevent illicit drug use in youth (10/03/19)
- Washington Poison Center releases 2018 annual data reports (07/23/19)
Addressing prescription drug misuse and abuse is a state priority.
- Prescription drugs (opioid pain killers, stimulants, and depressants) are medications legitimately prescribed by doctors to treat a variety of health problems. Some people assume that since they’re legal when prescribed by a doctor, they must be safer than illegal drugs. However, when misused or abused, they can be just as dangerous, and even deadly. In fact, in recent years, the abuse of prescription painkillers has resulted in more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- In 2016, about 700 individuals died from an opioid-related overdose in WA State (Washington Department of Health).
Painkiller use by youth in Washington State:
- Approximately 3,347 students in 10th grade report using painkillers (like Vicodin, OxyContin or Percocet) to get high in the last 30 days (Healthy Youth Survey, 2016).
- Twice as many, approximately 6,695 students in 10th grade, report misusing someone else's prescription in the last 30 days (Healthy Youth Survey, 2016).
Prevention strategies are being implemented throughout the state at local, county, and state levels, across the Continuum of Care that influence multiple domains and risk and protective factors. Here is a list of some state-wide initiatives focused specifically on prescription drug and opioid misuse and abuse:
Washington State Interagency Opioid Working Plan is the state’s comprehensive strategy to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with opioids.
The Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) was awarded the State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant, which funds the following projects:
- Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) expansion to five high-need communities.
- Community enhancement grants – provide funding opportunity to community based organizations statewide to implement prevention services.
- In 2018, DBHR and the Washington State Labor and Industries (L&I) hosted two training events for Washington State dentists to focus on opioid prescribing practices and guidelines.
- UW TelePain - Supported University of Washington’s weekly TelePain program, an audio and videoconference-based knowledge network of interprofessional specialists with expertise in the management of challenging chronic pain problems. The goal is to increase the knowledge and skills of community practice providers who treat patients with chronic pain.
- DBHR supported two statewide media campaigns with opioind misuse and abuse prevention messaging: Starts With One and Washington Tribal Opioid Solutions.
- Safe Storage Curricula and Training - Innovative pilot project to integrate prescription drug misuse and abuse prevention education with existing state services that parents and caregivers receive.
- Prevention Workforce Enhancements - support annual Washington State Prevention Summit and Spring Youth Forum to increase availability of education opportunities for youth a prevention professional on opiate misuse and abuse.
- Analysis of Evidence-Based Practices – Through a contract with Washington State University, conduct analysis of current selection of evidence-based practice with outcomes in the most salient factors related to youth misuse and abuse of prescriptions drugs to include opiates to be used in implementation of prevention services.
- Starts With One – Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) opioid abuse and misuse prevention media campaign
- Take Back Campaign Partner Toolkit recorded webinar.
- Washington Tribal Opioid Solutions - DBHR opioid abuse and misuse prevention media campaign
- Social media opioid prevention campaign – Social media toolkit developed by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and Educational Service District 112, with funding from DBHR
- DBHR’s Washington's Best Practices for Substance Abuse Prevention and Mental Health Promotion Guide
- Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) - Department of Health
- Interprofessional Team-Based Opioid Education - Washington State University
- Opioid Prescribing Guidelines – Washington Health Alliance & The Bree Collaborative
- Stop Overdose.org – University of Washington Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute
- Take Back Your Meds - Washington Poison Center map
- National Drug Take Back Day - Secure Site Locator
- Results Washington - Taking Action to End the Opioid Crisis
Strategic Development and Policy Unit Supervisor