Thank you for subscribing
This information will be used to better customize your experience and help inform future tools and features on our website.
By Dr. Samuel Ball
CASAColumbia applauds the well-deserved award recently received by The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids for their national campaign on medicine abuse. Together with Hill Holliday, The Partnership’s “Mind Your Meds” campaign won the Gold Lion Award at the first Cannes Lions Health festival.
The U.S. is in a time of crisis with regard to the use and misuse of and addiction to opiates, including both prescription medications like Oxycontin and street drugs like heroin. Teenagers and young adults are among the most vulnerable. In the northeast, where many experts consider us to be in the midst of an opiate epidemic, overdose is the leading cause of death among young people. It surpasses the other leading causes of youth death (accidents, suicide and homicide), all of which are also associated with substance use.
Every day families are devastated by finding their sons and daughters dead from opiate overdose. Tragically, the substance abuse treatment system for adolescents is inadequate to meet the demand for effective treatment. This is especially true for those addicted to opiates where the safest, most effective approach is often medication-assisted treatment. The wider availability of Narcan, a drug that helps to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose, is a step in the right direction, as is the northeast state governors’ working together to respond to the opiate crisis. Still much more work – including better advocacy – is needed.
The ongoing Medicine Abuse Project campaign run by The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is a critically important part of the work that is needed to address our national crisis. This recent Gold Award for “Mind Your Meds” is the latest in a series of videos (The Parents 360; Out of Reach; Medication Assisted Treatment), papers, e-books and fact sheets that CASAColumbia encourages everyone to watch or read on The Partnership’s new website. Attention to this critical topic of opiate abuse and addiction is essential to improve public health and safety and save the lives of the 12-25 years-olds at highest risk for addiction. This problem demands every agency’s attention and the national spotlight.