2010: Promoting Safe Use / Preventing Abuse

Our Theme

This October marks NCPIE's 25th annual "Talk About Prescriptions" Month. Our theme this year, "Promoting Safe Use / Preventing Abuse," speaks to taking action to ensure safe and appropriate medicine use. Taking action extends to personal, family, healthcare professional, and community roles and responsibilities for ensuring that whenever medicines are prescribed or recommended, they are used properly and safely. Taking action also extends to creating awareness to prevent and address prescription drug abuse — a significant problem among young people.

Last Year… “Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer: What You Can Do To Help Prevent Teen Prescription Drug Abuse”

In October 2009, NCPIE released "Maximizing Your Role as a Teen Influencer: What You Can Do to Help Prevent Teen Prescription Drug Abuse". These turn-key educational workshop materials (PowerPoint presentation, presenter's guide, role play scenarios, brochures, handouts, sample promotional materials) target teen influencers, including teachers, counselors, coaches, PTA groups, healthcare professionals in school-based settings and the community, including prescribers, pharmacists and nurses; parents, grandparents, and others).

What’s New for TAP Month 2010

We are pleased this October — and beyond — to feature a new online educational resource targeting an important audience — college-age students. Taking Action to Prevent and Address Prescription Drug Abuse: A Resource Kit for College Campuses, was developed by the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation and guidance from a Project Advisory Team (PAT) of nearly a dozen key organizations.

This resource kit is intended to help inform and mobilize college campuses to raise awareness about and address the misuse and abuse of prescription medicines. The materials are designed to engage and equip college campus peer educators and student leaders with timely and practical information, resources, and student-driven programming ideas to educate their peers about proper medicine use, prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment options. Many of the activities use existing channels — student health services, freshmen year experience — to help student leaders easily work in messages about the risks/dangers of prescription drug abuse, especially when used with other substances like alcohol.

Here’s what you’ll find:

Do You Need More Ideas for Observing "TAP" Month?

Taking Action to Address Medication Nonadherence

During "Talk About Prescriptions" Month 2007, the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) released a comprehensive assessment of medication nonadherence, issuing a series of 10 recommendations for stakeholder action to address this persistent national public health challenge. NCPIE's "Enhancing Prescription Medicine Adherence: A National Action Plan," has received wide-spread coverage about the economic costs and health consequences of poor medication adherence and has helped to trigger renewed interest and activities to improve adherence at both the programmatic and policy levels.

NCPIE is pleased to be participating in a soon-to-be-launched National Medication Awareness Campaign under development by the National Consumers League (NCL), a long-time NCPIE member, currently represented on the NCPIE board of directors, and a diverse coalition of stakeholder groups. Ray Bullman, NCPIE Executive Vice President, serves a co-chair of the campaign's chronic conditions working group and as a member of the campaign operating committee.

The national campaign is expected to launch publicly in early 2011. The campaign's integrated education and outreach strategy will include a mix of communications tactics and vehicles, such as a core message framework, campaign brand identity, earned and paid media, public service advertising (PSAs), and interactive web portals. Special outreach efforts to people with chronic conditions — particularly cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions, and diabetes — and to health care practitioners will be included.

Taking Action by being Medicine Smart

The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) coined the phrase Medicine Smart in October 2008 as a key message during our 23rd annual "Talk About Prescriptions" Month campaign. In fact, the major emphasis of that October's messaging was the value and importance of patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals being Medicine Smart. We think this message bears repeating as frequently as possible.

Are You Medicine Smart?™

Being Medicine Smart™ means getting all the information necessary to use your medicine correctly. That means asking questions and sharing important information about past medicine use to better ensure that you get the most benefit from your treatment. If you're not sure what questions to ask about your medicine — see "10 Important Questions to Help You Be Medicine Smart."

Being "Medicine Smart™" also means knowing several key facts about the medicines you are currently taking — and being able to share that information with the members of your healthcare team with each visit. That means keeping track of the names of the medicine(s) you are taking, how much you take, when and how you take it, why you take it, and when you started taking it (for how long), for example.

That’s a lot to remember.

Fortunately, there is help available from NCPIE and others to make it easy for you to keep track of your personal medicine information. See "Making a Medicine List Makes You "Medicine Smart™" for access to nearly a dozen sources where you print out a medicine list for yourself and other members of your family. Some can even be filled in, updated, and printed from the computer — making your medicine list just a click away whenever it's needed. This also makes it possible to email your medicine list to your healthcare provider if requested, and to whoever may be providing care-giving support for a loved one.

"Medicine Smart™" 3 Mini-Posters
These 3 free downloadable 8 ½ x 11" posters have multiple uses, including: display in high traffic areas like worksites, libraries, and meeting rooms. So print them out, save them to your computer and e-mail them to family and friends to encourage them to get a Medicine List. Place in your organizational newsletters and magazines to alert readers about how they too can be "Medicine Smart™."

On-line and downloadable medicine lists and other resource materials to support safe and appropriate medicine use all year round are provided by NCPIE. See "Educational Resources" NCPIE encourages consumers to participate actively with their healthcare providers in all aspects of healthcare decision-making. When medicines are part of the treatment, that means being the key member of what NCPIE calls the Medicine Education Team by taking the time to become "Medicine Smart™."

“Talk About Your Medicines” Month Archive