In the last 20 years, the consumption of prescription stimulants increased from 5 million to 45 million.
Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem. More people in the US died last year of drug overdoses than died in car accidents, making prescription drug abuse the third leading cause of accidental death. In the US, one person dies every 19 minutes from a drug overdose, and overdoses involving prescription painkillers now kill more Americans than those involving heroin and cocaine combined. This epidemic has been particularly widespread on college campuses. Between 1993 and 2005, the proportion of college students using prescription drugs went up dramatically: use of opioids such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet increased by 343 percent, and use of stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall increased by 93 percent. Our prescription drug misuse and abuse program seeks to cut prescription drug abuse deaths in half – saving approximately 10,000 lives – through strategic partnerships that raise consumer and public awareness, advance business practice change, and mobilize communities.

MORE ABOUT PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE REDUCTION

Since launching our prescription drug abuse reduction strategy in May 2013, we have worked with our strategic partners to address four key objectives to implement our program. In January 2014, CHMI launched the Employee Health Improvement Framework that includes first-of-its-kind best practice guidance on implementing policy and practice changes on behavioral/mental health and wellness that includes addressing substance abuse.  Shortly thereafter, with the help of Facebook and MTV, CHMI and the Jed Foundation launched the Jed and Clinton Health Matters College Campus Program, which aims to make college campuses safer and healthier by building their capacity to support the mental and physical needs of their students. As drug abuse by college students continues to increase, we have placed a strong focus on building the capacity of college campuses to support student health and prevent substance abuse.

In April 2014, CHMI hosted a working meeting, in which the FDA and key stakeholders in government, industry, and community groups met to create the initial deliverable plan for expanding Naloxone access in state and communities. This plan includes providing a predictably affordable supply of Naloxone to community groups; creating a window of opportunity for the Naloxone distribution field to scale over the next four years; expanding continuing medical education on Naloxone, targeting doctors and health workers; and rigorous implementation of community-based distribution and access efforts. CHMI is addressing our final objective of medical education by creating new continuous medical education courses specific to prevention of use by young adults with Medscape and the Jed Foundation. By taking the lead and continuing research in this field, CHMI and its partners will continue to create innovative ways to reach our final goal: cutting prescription drug abuse deaths in half and saving approximately 10,000 lives.