OSPI opioid abuse awareness campaign

Graphic of prescription pills with red circle and line through Opioid Abuse


The state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), along with other state agencies and partners, launched an opioid abuse awareness campaign last month and has been sharing valuable information on its website. The six-week education campaign is designed to prevent opioid misuse and abuse.

This is a great opportunity to raise awareness and create open lines of communication with communities, parents and students about prescription drugs. Opioid abuse is a state and national epidemic, and there has continued to be one death per day or more of opioid-related deaths each year since before 2015 — more than the number of deaths from car crashes, and it is preventable.

In 1736 Benjamin Franklin stated “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This axiom accurately reflects this campaign’s goals. Let’s help by learning how to start communicating this serious problem.

The following are some resources shared by OSPI on this important topic:

  • Learn about what medications contain opioids, understand the definition of medicine abuse and what can be done about it, learn how to prevent and reverse overdose, and understand how to find a “take back site” to turn in old or unused medications. Start Talking Now is a project of the Washington Healthy Youth Coalition. Visit the Start Talking Now website.
  • Learn more about  prescription drug abuse prevention at Athena through the Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery.