May 2017 - Impact Report:
#BeFreeRx Campaign

The Council recently kicked off a 6-month prevention/education campaign that addresses the 
disturbing trend in the misuse of painkillers and other prescription medications. In brief, here is the shocking history: In 1971, President Nixon cited the increase of narcotic deaths from less than 200 in 1960 to 1,000 in 1970. No one at that time could have predicted how the continuous creation of synthesized drugs over the years would make drug enforcement and prevention strategies more difficult. Since 2000, the rate of drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids. From 2000-2014, more than half a million Americans died from drug overdoses, and opioids made up 61% of them. Many people who start by misusing prescription painkillers move from pills to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to acquire. Between 2010-2014, heroin overdoses tripled in the United States. Today, more people in the United States die from drug overdoses than in car crashes. (CDC, 2016)

Given the impact of substance misuse on public health and the increased risk for long-term medical consequences, including substance use disorders, our efforts to prevent it from starting in the first place are critical. This prevention/education campaign,  #BeFreeRx, is multi-faceted. It includes: ramping up attention to prescription drugs in our existing school-based and community-based prevention activities; providing conferences and town hall meetings that focus on prescription drug education; encouraging increased attention to the opioid crisis through local television, radio and print media; focusing on prescription drug awareness through social media; reducing availability of unused, expired, and unwanted prescription drugs by promoting safe storage and disposal practices; recruiting new members for coalition-based community mobilization efforts; and, educating law-makers and advocating for policies that prevent the misuse of prescription medications, including pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives.

#BeFreeRx carries the tag line "Learn | Do | Give." We hope you will follow this campaign and take action in whatever way you can. The health, safety and well-being of our communities and the people we love depend on it.
Annual Report 
Fiscal Year Ending August 31, 2016

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The Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse
1349 Empire Central Drive, Suite 800
Dallas, TX 75247

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