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About the campaign

The Rx Awareness campaign tells the real stories of people whose lives were torn apart by prescription opioids. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness that prescription opioids can be addictive and dangerous. The campaign also strives to decrease the number of individuals who use opioids recreationally or overuse them.

When the Prescription Becomes the Problem

Nearly half of all U.S. opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid. Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have tripled since 1999, and so have sales of these prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2016, more than 200,000 people died from overdoses related to prescription opioids, with more than 17,000 prescription opioid overdose deaths occurring in 2016.

Take Action and Help

Whether you are a healthcare provider, first responder, law enforcement officer, public health official, or community member, the opioid epidemic is likely affecting you and your community. No matter who you are, you can take action to end the opioid overdose epidemic ravaging the United States. We all have a role to play on the frontlines of this fight—it starts with addressing prescription opioid misuse, abuse, and overdose.

  • Learn more about prescription opioids so you can help those at risk for opioid use disorder and overdose in your community.
  • Help those struggling with addiction find the right care and treatment. Anyone who takes prescription opioids can become addicted and help is available if you or someone you know is battling opioid use disorder.
  • Spread the word and increase awareness in your community about the risk and dangers of prescription opioids.

State and local health departments and community organizations can also take part in the Rx Awareness campaign and use the tested campaign materials and resources to launch campaigns, support local prevention activities, and raise awareness about the risks of prescription opioids.

Read the Executive Summary for an overview of the campaign [PDF – 5 MB], and learn how to launch the campaign in your local community.

  • How can I be addicted? I get these from my doctor. - Brenda
  • Our secrets keep us sick. -Devin

CDC's Opioid Overdose Website

Learn more about opioid misuse and overdose, data, and prevention resources at www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose.

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