10 Dec Opioid abuse: Doing your part to raise awareness
In October of 2017, the American Opioid epidemic was officially declared a public health emergency. Resources around the country were freed up to address this widespread issue. Opioid abuse hides in nearly every community, often where you would not expect it.
So how can publications and other media companies do their part to raise awareness? The first step in educating your community is increasing your knowledge of the issue. Let’s break down the key factors that make this such a common problem among Americans.
A wide range of pain-killing medications act on the opioid receptors in the nervous system to alleviate symptoms. These include Morphine, Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin. There are also synthetic drugs such as methadone and fentanyl, and all of these pain-regulating drugs are known as opioids and can be very addictive.
While the largest amount of opioid fatalities come from illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl, the availability of common prescription opioids, such as those listed above, makes them a far bigger threat. Bringing awareness to your community about the hidden dangers of prescribed painkillers is both vital and urgent. Media companies have the unique ability to be a tool for awareness on this topic. Become the authority on opioid abuse information within your community, and your company can save lives.
Educating your market:
Curbing opioid abuse goes deeper than simply telling people the problem exists. Putting information and resources directly in people’s hands helps the community take up the fight against addiction together. Our Opioid Awareness magazine helps advertisers such as doctors, physicians, rehabilitations centers and insurance companies fight back against the abuses ravaging our families and communities.
As awareness of the issue rises, those in need of medication will be seeking alternatives to opioid painkillers. The problem here is that patients often don’t tell their health care provider that they would prefer something else. Remind your community that other options exist for pain relief and it is OK to turn down a doctor’s suggested prescription. Encourage physical therapy, over-the-counter pain relievers or even alternative remedies such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.
True stories about humans impacted by addiction are a powerful tool for connecting with your community. People need to see the everyday faces struggling with abuse. The stigma of drug addiction gets in the way of most people’s understanding of drug abuse. The reality is that opioid addiction takes hold of otherwise healthy individuals that you would never expect – people just like you – and your community must take notice and stay informed.
While data might change over time, the core problems with abuse will take many years to eliminate. Opioid Awareness content is always relevant, and can even be effectively timed with key dates that push for awareness.
Data can make a change:
With more than 70,000 deaths in America last year, drug overdoses account for more fatalities than H.I.V., car crashes or gun violence at their peaks. While that is generally a frightening statistic, there’s one number that really captures people’s attention – overdoses kill more people than car crashes. Simply put, breaking down statistics into relatable information is the best way to engage your community.
Statistics matter to people and they can show that you are a reputable source of information, especially when it comes to health. Being able to tell your community that more than 115 people in the country will die every day from opioid overdose is important to building credibility. But numbers can be ephemeral, especially without a point of comparison. Simpler facts are what stick in people’s minds over time. For example, drug overdose deaths have caused the overall life expectancy of Americans to decline over the last three years. When people see real faces connected to complex issues and read about concrete changes opioid abuse have caused in our world, it can have a major impact on their minds.
People need to see the reality of drug addiction outside of the evening news broadcast. The more this issue is touched on by thought leaders in communities around the country, the greater awareness will grow. Become the thought leader for your community by showing credibility and reliability in the fight against opioid addiction.
Knowledge is power, and the most powerful way to fight opioid addiction is to make people want to learn more.
Head over to the content store to learn more about our newly released Opioid Awareness special edition.