This week marks National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse and other national partners. It is a time to raise awareness and shatter myths among teenagers about the seriousness of drug abuse and addiction.
Allied Against Opioid Abuse (AAOA) recognizes the importance of distinguishing myths from facts and providing informative resources to patients, caregivers and the healthcare community about the safe use, storage and disposal of prescription opioids. AAOA works with our national partners to educate key populations on the importance of understanding the rights, risks and responsibilities associated with these medicines. Working together, our coalition has developed online resources and national initiatives to raise awareness of what can be done to keep prescription opioids out of unwanted hands.
In collaboration with the National Consumers League (NCL), AAOA released a suite of resources to help educate consumers about prescription opioid safety. The AAOA-NCL Consumer Toolkit addresses common questions that patients may have about their rights, risks, and responsibilities associated with prescription opioids, and highlights facts about opioid medications to fill a knowledge gap and prevent misuse before it occurs.
Another key partnership resulted in the AAOA-HealthyWomen Toolkit, which brings together resources tailored toward women, with the goal of educating them in their role as consumers and caregivers. This toolkit offers actionable steps for women — who make the majority of the healthcare decisions in the home — to ensure prescription opioids are secured and out of reach when they are brought into the home.
AAOA has also worked with the Physician Assistant (PA) Foundation on the Pledge to Pause initiative, which reminds PA students and providers of the importance of engaging with and educating their patients every time an opioid is prescribed. AAOA and the PA Foundation also developed an educational video series featuring a team of PAs from the Cleveland Clinic to underscore the importance of having open and honest conversations between patients and their healthcare providers when discussing expectations around pain management.
To help mark National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, AAOA encourages you to learn more about what you can do to prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids by browsing our full suite of online resources and following @AAOA_Tweets on Twitter.
Together, we can educate America’s teenagers and shatter the myths about this challenging epidemic this week and every week.