Medicine Abuse Project: 2016 Project Report

We’re proud to have already contributed to a 45 percent decrease in prescription pain reliever abuse by high school seniors in the past five years, but there is much work to be done. There are 144 overdose deaths in the United States every day, 91 of which are directly related to opioids. 

A major factor in this unacceptably high number of fatalities is the tragic reality that families are unable to find the support and resources they need to help a loved one struggling with a substance use disorder.

As was begun in 2016, the next chapter of the Medicine Abuse Project is dedicated to supporting families and letting them know that they are not alone and there is hope for their son or daughter.

Read the Full 2016 Project Report

Download the full report to read more on the activities and successes of the Medicine Abuse Project in 2016.

Report Highlights

Helpinging Parents Address the Country’s Opioid Epidemic
With funding and support from the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs) in the eastern United States, we launched a comprehensive resource to help families and communities address the country’s growing heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis. Heroin and Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action helps connect the dots of how someone could go from prescription pain medicine abuse to heroin use, and connects parents with the information and support they need to protect or help a loved one.

Updated Medication-Assisted Treatment Resources
One way to treat an opioid addiction is with medication-assisted treatment. This approach uses medicine, along with therapy and other support, to help address withdrawal, cravings and relapse prevention. The Partnership’s Medication-Assisted Treatment resources for families features an updated eBook along with video featuring experts in the field and individuals in recovery.

National Rx & Heroin Summit
The Partnership played a significant role at the 2016 National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which took place in Atlanta, GA. Our President and CEO Marcia Lee Taylor had the privilege of introducing keynote speaker, U.S. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Dr. Vivek Murthy, who addressed bringing forth solutions to help solve the country’s opioid and heroin crisis. As part of the summit’s “heroin track,” the Partnership participated in a panel discussion, HIDTA Heroin Response Strategy, and presented the new Heroin and Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action.

National Broadcasters Commit to Help End Medicine Abuse
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), along with the Partnership, announced a multi-faceted effort to help address the nation’s opioid epidemic at a Capitol Hill press conference last fall. NAB radio and TV stations committed to airing our public service announcements in English and Spanish as a part of the broadcast initiative to help educate communities across the country about the dangers of heroin use and prescription drug abuse. Content and accompanying tools for broadcasters to use in their community are available at

National Launch of “Search and Rescue” Campaign
Last year, the Surgeon General’s letter to more than 2 million healthcare providers urged them to help turn the tide of opioid abuse. Launched nationally in 2016, “Search and Rescue” is a prescriber education campaign that gives healthcare providers the resources they need to prescribe opioids responsibly and prevent the misuse and abuse of medicine in their practices. The goal of the campaign, developed with support from
the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is to equip prescribers to be proactive in identifying and helping patients at risk for prescription drug abuse. Working with Razorfish Health, the Partnership applied insights from the pilot phases of the program and created a new website,, for the national roll-out.

Raising Awareness About Stimulant Abuse
We created a short documentary film, BREAKING POINTS, to raise awareness about the level of stress that high school and college students experience and the unhealthy ways that many of them cope. The film explores behavior that is becoming normalized among students – abusing prescription medicines not prescribed to them, including Rx stimulants for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

BREAKING POINTS includes candid perspectives from high school and college students and nationally recognized experts, challenging the misperceived “safety” and effectiveness of abusing prescription stimulants without a doctor’s prescription. The film rolled out through a series of screenings at Google’s offices in California, New York, and Texas, as well as events in other communities and schools across the country. The film is available for individuals, educators and community leaders to download along with discussion guides and other resources from The release of BREAKING POINTS was also accompanied by a 13-part series on our Parent Blog discussing school stress, as well as live Facebook chats with experts on the topics of stress and stimulant abuse.

Past Project Reports: