The “Use Only As Directed” Campaign
The “Use Only As Directed” campaign is a media and education campaign designed to prevent and reduce the misuse and abuse of prescription pain medications in Utah by providing information and strategies regarding safe use, safe storage, and safe disposal. Efforts include a paid media campaign, online presence (website and social media), outreach events and non-traditional public relations events.
The Utah Pharmaceutical Drug Community Project
The Utah Pharmaceutical Drug Community Project (UPDCP) was convened in January 2009 to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in Utah. The project team includes private-public multidisciplinary partnerships involving more than 60 experts in the fields of substance abuse prevention and treatment, law enforcement, environmental quality, health care, human services and public health. UPDCP is comprised of an Executive Committee and an Advisory Committee with subcommittees in the following areas:
- Public Awareness and Education (Use Only As Directed Campaign)
- Patient Education and Provider Training
- Access to Treatment
- Primary Prevention and Education
- Law Enforcement
- Data and Evaluation
In 2014, Intermountain Healthcare, a non-profit healthcare system and the largest healthcare provider in the Intermountain West, started the Intermountain Opioid Community Collaborative to decrease the burden of prescription drug abuse, misuse and overdose deaths in Utah. Intermountain Healthcare developed a charter outlining the mission of the partnership, guiding principles, scope of the partnership, development teams and their functions, including subcommittees that overlap with UPDCP’s subcommittees (Public Awareness and Education, Patient Education and Provider Training, and Access to Treatment).
- Promote public awareness, including the risks and warning signs, of pharmaceutical drug misuse, abuse, and overdose as a public health problem and promote the safe use, storage, and proper disposal of pharmaceuticals.
- Promote efforts to decrease the risk of pharmaceutical drug abuse by increasing availability of safe and convenient disposal.
- Improve patient education to include recognizing the risks and warning signs of pharmaceutical drug misuse, abuse and overdose, and safe storage and proper disposal of medications.
- Develop and promote the adoption of core education and training guidelines on the prevention of pharmaceutical drug misuse/abuse/overdose and related behaviors by all helping professionals, including graduate and continuing education programs.
- Develop policy related to pharmaceutical drug use/misuse/abuse, through State Agencies, the legislature, and other avenues as possible.
- Increase prevention efforts related to pharmaceutical drug misuse/abuse/overdose.
- Increase availability of and access to physical and behavioral health services and treatment, prevention programs and other community resources to better support individuals and families of individuals at risk of pharmaceutical drug abuse.
- Improve law enforcement efforts to identify pharmaceutical drug diversion and abuse, and recognize law enforcement as a potential liaison for referral to services.