Prescription Drug Abuse

International Overdose Awareness Day: Rethink and Remember

International Overdose Awareness Day is a global event held each year to raise awareness about drug overdose, remember those who have lost their lives to drug overdose and recognize the grief and loss experienced by their families, friends and loved ones.

National Safety Council and a team of Illinois survivor advocates and local grassroots organizations hosted the 2015 Illinois Rally near NSC headquarters in Chicago Aug. 31, 2015.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin; U.S. Reps. Bob Dold, Bill Foster and Danny Davis; and state Rep. Lou Lang spoke at the event. Felicia Micelli spoke of losing her son, Louis, to opioids and working to see that others are spared her grief. A moment of silence was observed in memory of all those who have died from drug overdose.

  • How Big is the Prescription Painkiller Problem?


    • Among people 35 to 54 years old, unintentional drug overdoses cause more deaths than motor vehicle crashes.
    • More than 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers report getting them from friends or relatives.
    • In 2010, more than 400,000 emergency room visits were made related to prescription pain relievers.
    • Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs health insurers up to $72.5 billion annually in direct health care costs.
  • What are Opioids?


    Opioid painkillers contain morphine and codeine. Like heroin, they derive from the poppy plant. People may think opioids are the best way to treat pain, but we know other, non-addictive medicines are just as effective. Learn more.
  • Prescription Painkillers are Gateway Drugs to Heroin


    ​Four out of five new heroin users started by misusing prescription painkillers. About 4-6 percent of prescription painkiller abusers will transition to heroin use. Learn how one high school athlete's addiction path ultimately ended in tragedy.

Make Your Workplace Opioid Free

Employee use of prescription painkillers threatens employees' safety and your bottom line.

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Prescription Painkiller Abuse: The Worst Drug Epidemic



America’s most fatally abused drug is legal and sitting in the medicine cabinet. Understand the risks and how to prevent deaths and injuries associated with prescription drug abuse.

  • Get the Latest Information on Opioids

    Receive email updates on preventing prescription drug misuse and overdose. Learn how you can join this initiative to save lives.

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