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Friday, April 10, 2015

When the Prescription Becomes the Problem

The prescription opioid epidemic and rise in overdose deaths has government agencies scrambling to combat the issue. While previous efforts have had some effect, the problem is still seriously out of control. This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a social media campaign called “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem,” Forbes reports.

The campaign is calling on those who have been affected by prescription opioid abuse to share their story with the world using social media platforms. The CDC hopes that the campaign will raise awareness regarding prescription opioid abuse and overdose. There were 16,235 deaths involving prescription opioids in 2013, according to the CDC.

“Prescription drug overdose devastates individuals, families and communities,” said Erin Connelly, Associate Director for Communication at the CDC’s Injury Center. “We’d like to get everyone talking and thinking about the risks involved with opioid painkillers.”

Using the hashtag “RxProblem” (#RxProblem), the CDC is asking people to write a six-word story or message and create an original picture or a video. People are then encouraged to share it on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by May 15, 2015, using the hashtag. Hopefully, friends and followers will share the message to increase reach.

“Starting April 6th, help us tell the stories of the many people whose lives have been affected by prescription painkiller addiction or the death of a loved one,” the CDC says on its campaign website. “Encourage those in need to seek treatment for addiction. Celebrate others who are already working to change lives, and inspire our communities to improve patient safety and the way we treat pain.”

If you would like to contribute your story about your struggle with prescription opioids, it may help others find their way into recovery. You can learn more about the “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem” campaign here.

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