New “Take Charge Ohio” Campaign Empowers Prescribers and Patients to Manage Pain, Prevent Prescription Opioid Abuse

ODH and its partners on the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team have launched a new statewide campaign to encourage and empower opioid prescribers, their patients and the public to take charge by safely managing pain and preventing pain medication abuse. “We’ve heard from doctors and other opioid prescribers that they need tools to help educate their patients about the dangers of misusing prescription pain medications, and about how to safely manage their pain, including with non-opioid therapies,” said Mark Hurst, M.D., Medical Director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “The campaign is called ‘Take Charge Ohio’ with the tagline ‘Manage Pain. Prevent Medication Abuse.’  Both of those components are important – we need to effectively manage pain, but do so in a way that minimizes risks to the patient, including the risks of addiction and overdose.” Ohio is seeing important progress in reducing the number of prescription opioids available for abuse – and last year the state had the fewest prescription opioid overdose deaths since 2009. However, prescription opioids are still involved in far too many overdose deaths, and their abuse is frequently a gateway to heroin and fentanyl use later on. The campaign includes a combination of TV, radio, print, and digital advertising; billboards; social media; emails to licensed prescribers; and a website (www.TakeChargeOhio.org) with information, tools and resources, including brochures, fliers and posters that prescribers can use with their patients. The campaign is being funded by a grant ODH received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Take Charge Ohio campaign is only one component of Ohio’s aggressive and comprehensive approach to combatting opioid abuse and overdose deaths. Details about these efforts are available on the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team website.

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