Save on registration for APHA 2024! Join us in Minneapolis ×

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: 

An Equitable Response to the Ongoing Opioid Crisis

Reducing Opioid Overdose through Education and Naloxone Distribution

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

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.