Prescription Drug Overdose

pills across a U.S. mapCheck out the web-based training "Pathways to Safer Opioid Use"

Across the United States, 40 people die each day because of overdosing on narcotic prescription medications. The most commonly abused prescription drugs are: 

* opioid painkillers like Vicodin and codeine

* depressants, or medicines to treat anxiety and aid sleep, such as Valium and Xanax

* stimulants used to treat ADHD, such as Adderall and Ritalin

APHA supports prescription drug monitoring programs as one way to fight the epidemic. Find out more about the problem and how public health is responding.

Surgeon General's Spotlight on Opioids

APHA poster: "Prescription Drug Abuse, An American Epidemic" (PDF)

Case studies: Learn about prescription drug overdose prevention in Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode IslandTennessee, Utah, Vermont and Washington (all are PDFs)

Rx Awareness uses real-life examples to educate Americans about the dangers of prescription opioids.

APHA Policy Statements: 

Reducing Opioid Overdose through Education and Naloxone Distribution

Defining and Implementing a Public Health Response to Drug Use and Misuse


APHA letter to Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee leaders in response to the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 (PDF)

Health organization letter urging Senate HELP committee leaders to further strengthen the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 through emphasis on primary prevention (PDF)

Health organization letters to Senate and House Appropriations Committee leaders urging additional funding for opioid overdose prevention efforts (PDF)

Comments to the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis regarding the commission's interim report (PDF)

Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies letter urging the Missouri General Assembly to authorize a state Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDF)

Webinar: Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention

The Nation's Health: Suicide, opioids tied to ongoing fall in U.S. life expectancy
Poor pain management leaves millions of Americans suffering 

American Journal of Public Health: Allowing basic EMTs to administer naloxone could help prevent overdose deaths

APHA is part of the Collaborative for Effective Prescription Opioid Policies, which supports policies to reduce abuse and promote treatment options.