Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in the United States, often leading to hospitalization and even death. In response to this growing crisis, the AAFP has partnered with The Partnership at Drugfree.org(www.drugfree.org) and its "Medicine Abuse Project(medicineabuseproject.org)" to draw attention to the growing epidemic in the United States.
The project includes a number of activities(medicineabuseproject.org) that run from Sept. 23-29, culminating with the DEA's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day(medicineabuseproject.org) on Sept. 29.
As part of the program, the AAFP is advocating the importance of the role family physicians and other primary care clinicians play in effective pain management, including by prescribing opioid analgesics. The Academy offers tools on its Pain Management and Opioid Abuse Web page that can help FPs manage patient pain and educate patients about the dangers of prescription drugs.
The Medicine Abuse Project page also offers tools(medicineabuseproject.org) designed to help physicians talk to patients about prescription medication abuse. Other tools include a report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse summarizing recent key research findings; a CDC fact sheet; and tools on screening, intervention and referral to treatment.
The 5-year campaign "aims to prevent half a million teens from abusing medicine" by focusing on encouraging parents to talk with the children and teenagers in their lives about the dangers of abusing prescription and OTC medicines and by safeguarding and properly disposing of unused medications.