News from National Convention—The Opioid Epidemic

One of the workshops at the 2019 National PTA Convention focused on the Opioid Epidemic. Misuse of prescription pain medication is one of the fastest growing health issues in the United States today, and the problem is on the rise at an alarming rate not just among the general population but among youth as well. National PTA has partnered with the AMA Allianceto provide resources for state and local PTAs to spread awareness of this issue among parents.

Every year, there are approximately 50 million surgeries in the United States, 2.5 million of which result in the prescribing of opiate pain medications. In many cases, these prescriptions are for 30 days, even though patients may only need the opiate pain medication for the first few days. The result is a significant number of unused opiates available in homes across the country. 53% of those who abuse prescription opioids get their supply from a family member, and approximately 440,000 people become addicted to opioids each year.

National PTA’s partnership with the AMA Alliance is creating a toolkit of resources for state and local PTAs on the issue. Currently, the toolkit consists of a 12-minute recorded webinarand a co-branded fact sheet. Coming soon to the toolkit on National PTA’s websiteare:

  • Door hangers for an awareness campaign
  • A presentation packet that will include both the recorded webinar mentioned above and the slideshow itself so PTAs can deliver the presentation instead of the recording if they wish to do so
  • Handouts to go along with the presentation/webinar
  • A 5-question survey for presenters to fill out on how a presentation went so National PTA and the AMA Alliance can track how the toolkit is being used

Additional resources on the topic can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)website.