The misuse of prescription pain medications that contain opioids (such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, codeine and fentanyl) is a rapidly changing, multi-faceted public health crisis that can lead to addiction, overdose, and death.

To increase our community’s understanding of these risks associated with prescription opioids and safe pain management, a new public campaign “Your Pain Is Real. So Are the Risks” will launch this month and will be seen statewide, including Shasta County. The campaign also encourages patients to talk to doctors and pharmacists about safer pain management options. To learn more visit:  TheRisksAreReal.cdph.ca.gov.

In 2017, 36 Shasta County residents visited an emergency department because of a prescription opioid-related overdose and 15 residents died from a prescription opioid-related overdose.  More opioid overdose data is available on the California Opioid Overdose Surveillance Dashboard (https://discovery.cdph.ca.gov/CDIC/ODdash/).

Locally, The NoRxAbuse Coalition is leading a unified effort to prevent and reduce opioid addiction and overdoses in Shasta County. Through the efforts of the NoRxAbuse Coalition and state and community partners, Shasta County has seen a 25.8 percent decrease in opioid prescribing in the last two years along with many other positive outcomes.

The NoRxAbuse Coalition is committed to preventing abuse and diversion of prescription drugs with a special focus on preventing opioid addiction and overdose death in Shasta County through the promotion of safe prescribing, addiction treatment, access to naloxone, medication disposal, alternative pain management, and education on the risks associated with improper use of prescription medications. To support NoRxAbuse in this mission, the California Department of Public Health has launched the “Your Pain is Real. So Are the Risks.” campaign.

The objective of the “Your Pain is Real. So Are the Risks.” is to increase awareness about the dangers of prescription medications that contain opioids and encourage patients to talk to doctors about safer pain management options.