CDC Tackles Prescription Drug Abuse in New Twitter Campaign

By Brent McCluskey 04/30/15

The CDC's “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem” is designed to create a safe haven for addicts to tell their stories.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is taking to Twitter to raise awareness about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs.

The CDC’s campaign, titled “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem,” is meant to act as a safe haven so those who are or have been addicted to prescription painkillers can step forward and tell their story. The CDC hopes that shedding light on prescription painkiller addiction will get people talking about it.

“Prescription drug overdose devastates individuals, families and communities,” said Erin Connelly, associate director for Communication at the CDC’s Injury Center. “We’d like to get everyone talking and thinking about the risks involved with opioid painkillers.”

There are various differing viewpoints on what drives prescription painkiller addiction and how to prevent it, but the CDC believes it all starts in the doctor’s office.

“[The] CDC’s approach to prescription drug overdose remains on primary prevention of opioid addiction and overdose—that is, addressing the problematic opioid prescribing that created and continues to fuel the epidemic,” Connelly said. “…States drive prevention—they regulate the health professions, run prescription drug monitoring programs, administer large public insurance programs like Medicaid, and have the public health surveillance capacity to track the behavior of the epidemic.”

The $20 million provided by the 2015 omnibus appropriations bill will help the CDC achieve its goals. The money will allow 17 states to improve their prescription drug monitoring programs, which helps stop patients from doctor hoping to get their prescriptions filled, as well as implement new, evidence-based prevention programs, said Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse.

 “[The] CDC is also uniquely positioned to implement strong surveillance to track the progress in reducing addiction and abuse,” Rogers said.

To participate in the CDC’s “When the Prescription Becomes the Problem” campaign, tweet a six-word message with the hashtag #RxProblem.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.