A new federal grant will help spread awareness about prescription opioid abuse across Iowa.
The grant will fund a statewide media campaign to educate teens and young adults about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs.
Janet Nelson, at the Iowa Department of Public Health, says young people often think that if a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it can’t be harmful.
“There are a lot of gaps still to fill,” Nelson says, “and that’s what we’re doing with this prevention grant is to continue to spread the word.”
The grant will also help three counties — Polk, Jasper and Scott — to develop additional strategies to reduce problems stemming from prescription opioid abuse.
Nelson says those counties were chosen based on rates of opioid-related deaths, treatment admissions, and youth survey results on misuse of prescription drugs.
“We’re targeting community members and hospitals and health care providers — especially prescribers — to help reduce the amount of opioids that are getting prescribed, so it’s a community effort.”
The public health department will work with pharmacists and care providers to stop young people from receiving more pain pills than they need.
Thanks to Katarina Sostaric, Iowa Public Radio