Opioids, specifically prescription opioids (hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine and morphine) are traditionally used to relieve pain. While many people benefit from proper usage of prescription opioids, many develop a tolerance to them, resulting in misuse (taking more than prescribed or without a doctor’s prescription). An increased tolerance without supply of the prescribed drug may result in the individual seeking substitutes such as heroin. Regular use of opiates—even as prescribed by a doctor—can lead to dependence and, when misused, opioid pain relievers can lead to addiction, overdose incidents, and deaths. An opioid overdose can be reversed with the drug naloxone when given right away.

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Successful Advocacy Efforts:

Georgia’s Medical Amnesty Law

Don’t Run – Call 911!

Georgia’s Medical Amnesty Law protects victims & callers seeking medical assistance at drug or alcohol overdose scenes.

The caller and the victim cannot be arrested, charged, or prosecuted for small amounts of drugs, alcohol, or drug paraphernalia if the evidence was obtained as a result of seeking medical assistance.

For more information visit http://www.georgiaoverdoseprevention.org/

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

In 2016 HB 900 overwhelmingly passed both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly. HB 900 improved Georgia’s PDMP is several ways: Please Click Here for a copy of the bill.

Allows for prescribers and dispensers to have “delegates,” authorized persons in the doctor’s office or the pharmacy that can assist the doctor or pharmacist with PDMP data entry and with checking the PDMP before prescribing or dispensing.

Allows for greater access for the purposes of research, grant proposal opportunities, and Rx drug abuse prevention education.

Allows for greater access for law enforcement.

Also, due to passed legislation, the PDMP has the legal authority to engage in data sharing with other states (interoperability). Such interstate data sharing began in summer of 2016 between a network of 28 states.

Ways you can advocate for the opioid misuse, abuse and overdose deaths…

Statewide advocacy strategies include campaigning for:

Mandatory prescriber education

Strengthening the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Increased access to naloxone

Availability of Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Community advocacy strategy includes:

Educating friends, family and colleagues about proper security and disposal of prescription drugs

Hosting prescription drug take back days or marketing national and local take back days

Increasing local take back locations/drug drop boxes

Resources

Prevent Rx Abuse Toolkit

National Safety Council – Prescription Nation 2016 Addressing America’s Drug Epidemic

GA Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative

Medication Abuse Prevention: Resource Guide

For Parents

For Teens

For Educators

Find a Drug Take Back Location

Statewide Opioid Taskforce: Dose of Reality

Social Norms; Consumer Demand; Overprescribing: Join the Movement