In 2015, more than 700 people in Washington died from overdoses involving opioids, and 57 percent of people currently using
heroin were dependent on prescription opioids before they began using heroin. One in five teens experiment with prescription
drugs, and nearly half of young people who inject heroin started off abusing prescription drugs.
Addiction can begin with a legal prescription for painkillers, or with leftover medication shared to alleviate a friend’s pain, or with a child’s foray into an unlocked medicine cabinet. Oxycodone, Vicodin and codeine are just a few of the prescription drugs that affect the brain like heroin.
The state of Washington is sounding the alarm, raising awareness about this epidemic in the hopes of preventing additional
opioid-related addictions and deaths. In response to Gov. Jay Inslee’s Executive Order 16-09 Addressing the Opioid Use Public Health Crisis, a coalition involving multiple state agencies has collaborated to create an awareness campaign to alert parents and other caregivers to the dangers of opioid medications.
The awareness campaign launches April 19, in advance of the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on April 29, and will run over the next six weeks before the school year’s end.
Find your local “Take Back Your Meds” events happening here
Resources for parents and other adults are available at www.StartTalkingNow.org/rx