October 25, 2017

New Prescription Opioid Campaign

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched its first prescription opioid prevention campaign, Rx Awareness, to increase recognition of prescription opioid abuse and overdose. The campaign does not include information about heroin, which is a related but different topic. "Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids, and more than 40 people die from prescription opioid overdoses," per the CDC's Rx Awareness Campaign Overview (PDF).
Although the campaign defines its target audience as 25-54 year olds, research indicates that those exposed to prescription opioids for reasons other than chronic pain made up the younger cohort of those aged 25-35. This includes sports injuries and dental procedures, experiences that often affect college-aged students. Further, healthcare providers, law enforcement officers, including campus public safety officers, and community stakeholders should all be engaged and aware of how the opioid epidemic is affecting their community and ways to take action to help educate the public.
The Rx Awareness campaign website contains the following campaign elements and tools to help you launch a campaign on your campus or support an existing drug prevention initiative:
  • Videos: Stories of people directly impacted by opioid abuse including some who started abusing as early as age 16.
  • Radio spots: Short audio clips from the videos in .mp3 and .wav format. Transcripts are also available.
  • Online ads: Available in both static and animated versions in different display sizes.
  • Signs and billboards: Print ads available in different sizes and layouts.
  • Social media: Images for Facebook and Twitter as well as a social media toolkit that contains suggested posts and tweets for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also use the official #RxAwareness hashtag in social media messaging and find more information on dedicated YouTube playlists in this section.
The CDC also links to a number of important resources related to opioid addiction and abuse including Prevent Prescription Opioid Overdose , Treatment and Recovery , and the main CDC Opioid Overdose website .
For additional resources on opioid addiction and other substance abuse, please visit the NCCPS library and use the search tag "alcohol and substance abuse."

Pedestrian and Bike Safety
Campuses are bustling with pedestrians and bicyclists, regardless of weather conditions or time of year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 5,376 pedestrians (up from 4,884 in 2014)  and 818 bicyclists (up from 729 in 2014) were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015. Among other things, the NHTSA raises awareness about the dangers to pedestrians and bicyclists, and provides leadership, expertise, and resources to communities across America to combat these crashes.
Pedestrian Safety
Pedestrian safety is a main concern across campus communities nationwide. The NHTSA provides shareable safety tips (PDF) for pedestrians and drivers, as well as guides, courses, and workshops geared toward both safety officials and advocates at the campaign website,  Everyone is a Pedestrian.
To reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities, the NHTSA  recommends a three-pronged approach of engineering, education, and enforcement. Their publication,  Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Operations: A How-To Guide (PDF), primarily discusses the enforcement component of this approach and also includes information on the related engineering and education components. Law enforcement, including campus police, may use the guide to effectively deploy pedestrian safety enforcement operations.
Bike Safety
In 2014 (the latest year for which data is available), bicyclists accounted for two percent of all traffic deaths and two percent of all crash-related injuries.
An essential contributor to bike safety is safe behavior by all users of the roadways.  Particularly important is a cultural shift that acknowledges bikes as full members of the traffic community, with the same rights and responsibilities that come with it. Safety depends on bicyclists having the knowledge and skills to ride safely and motorists understanding how bikes operate in traffic and what to expect of a traffic system that includes bike riders.
It is important for your college or university to encourage helmet use when riding a bike, as wearing a helmet dramatically reduces the likelihood and severity of traumatic brain injury in the event of a crash. All riders should ensure their helmet is properly fitted, less than five years old, and has never been in a crash.
Additional Resources
Funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, the  Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center within the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, offers several resources including:

  • Guidebooks, case studies, videos, reports, and policies
  • Upcoming and recorded webinars on pedestrian safety enforcement operations, pedestrian safety education, and safety enforcement
  • A white paper series with topics such as research on crosswalk styles, synthesis of safety research on the road, and automated enforcement systems
  • A comprehensive library that includes pedestrian and bicycle-related materials and documents compiled by practitioners and researchers across the U.S.
Whether you are walking, riding, or driving, it is important to maintain situational awareness and remember that safety is always a shared responsibility.

Professional Development Opportunities
Title: Natural Disaster Awareness for Community Leaders (AWR-310)
Organization: National Disaster Preparedness Training Center
Date:  November 13, 2017
Location: Panama City, FL
Fee: Free
Title: CADE Fall Training
Organization: Coalition of Colorado Campus Alcohol and Drug Educators
Date: November 15, 2017
Location: Denver, CO
Fee: Free

Title: IPMBA Security Cyclist Course
Organization: International Police Mountain Bike Association
Dates: December 11-13, 2017
Location: Biloxi, MS
Fee: Registration fee

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar.

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Weekly Snapshot articles in our easily searchable directory, which is updated monthly.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.