Prescription opioid drug misuse has become a major epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, since 1999, the quantity of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, with a parallel increase of people becoming addicted to narcotics. In 2013, nearly two million Americans misused prescription painkillers and more than 16,000 people in the U.S. died. Each day, almost 7,000 people are treated in emergency departments for using these drugs in a manner other than as directed.

The most abused medications are pain relievers (opioids) such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, Percocet, methadone and codeine. Those who misuse prescription narcotics drugs think they are safe because they are not illegal but once addicted, it can be hard to stop.

Recognizing that opioid misuse is a national health epidemic, the AMA Alliance, in collaboration with the American Medical Association, is focusing efforts and attention to educating physician families and our communities about the causes, the dangers, and the treatments of opioid misuse and addiction.

Below are educational resources to help AMA Alliance members and the community at large to be part of the solution network to help solve this epidemic.


America Opioid Epidemic: Know the Facts: Presentation developed in conjunction with the National PTA which includes everything needed for a presentation geared towards middle school parents. Opioid Educational Resources for purchase: To enhance your presentation the AMA Alliance offers DVD’s, brochures and postcards for community education and advocacy. All materials can be co-branded to maximize your efforts.  Prescription Opioid Misuse Fact Sheet White Paper (downloadable pdf)

Take Action

Prescription Drug Take-Back Days– The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) periodically hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events where collection sites are set up in communities nationwide for safe disposal of prescription drugs.

The National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation Dispose My Meds – This program helps locate medication disposal programs at the local independent community pharmacy near you.

The Opioid Misuse Epidemic: Empowering Community Action – 6 video library that provides educational solutions for action and advocacy.

“Pills are NOT a Party!” – Educational DVD packets designed for middle school youth are available for purchase from the Greene County Medical Society Alliance Springfield Missouri.

Safe Disposal of Medicine Guide

Office of National Drug Control Policy

Courtesy of MedChi, Maryland’s State Medical Society

Sample Affiliate Resources for Drug Prevention Education