“Determined to rein in the opioid epidemic, CDC director Dr. Anne Schuchat is introducing a new campaign to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse in America. The ads feature the stories of patients and families impacted by prescription drug overdoses. ‘A lot of times, [opioids] are prescribed without the patient asking or recognizing the harm,’ Schuchat tells STAT. Health officials are trying to encourage patients to talk to their doctors from the get-go when they’re prescribed opioids. ‘We want the public to be comfortable asking questions. And we don’t want it to be too late by the time that you’re hooked,’ Schuchat says. The videos will be initially be released in four states hit hard by prescription drug overdoses: West Virginia, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Ohio.
“The agency also updated its data this week on the rate of prescription drug overdose deaths in recent years. Take a look at the shift above —the darker the color, the higher the rate of prescription drug overdose deaths — and find the full data here.”