Office of the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
Governor's Office of Youth, Faith and Family
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Strategy 4

Increase public awareness and patient education
about Rx drug misuse and abuse


Working ourselves out of a job one drug free person at a time



Because you’re worth saving



Loving your future one day at a time


Wellness & Recovery

Raising awareness in a community about prescription drug misuse and abuse is essential to move prevention efforts forward. Many people are simply unaware that prescription drug misuse is a problem. Others do not realize that prescribed medicines can still be harmful, or are unmindful of the potential side effects and addictive potential of the medications they are taking. Strategy 4 contains critical community level information topics such as information about Naloxone, the Opioid Epidemic Act, Rx 360, and the link between mental illnesses and/or trauma and prescription misuse and abuse. The tools in Strategy 4 have the potential to make real differences in communities across the state.

There are many actions within Strategy 4 that community groups such as coalitions can take that play a major role in combating the prescription drug misuse and abuse epidemic. Here are three tips to keep in mind while implementing and planning activities around this strategy:

  1. Awareness - As you identify the information that you will be sharing with your community through public awareness, schedule a meeting with your local media partners (print and broadcast) to tell them about the problem of prescription drug misuse in the community. Make your case by sharing relevant data from or by using local substance abuse data from the Arizona Youth Survey. If you are unable to set a meeting with local media, consider following individual reporters on social media. Learn the topics they cover and direct message story ideas. Also, consider creating a localized Public Services Announcement (PSA) about prescription drug misuse and ask the newspaper or radio station to run it. Listen to the PSA below for ideas. Next make a list of community partners that are willing to host a prevention event and/or hang or hand out flyers, posters or postcards. Be sure to add schools, realtors, home owner's associations, businesses, funeral home directors, restaurants, hospice providers, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and members of the faith community to the list.
  2. Action - Set a goal for social media and training. For example, a coalition may set a goal of reaching 500 parents and 1,000 youth in the community with the RX360 curriculum. The coalition may also choose to partner with community partners to jointly post information about the current opioid epidemic and prescription drug misuse and abuse on social media. The benefit to having an established group working together to post information is that the group is able to engage and promote the information for a larger impact than any one entity could achieve on its own.
  3. Outcomes - Keep track of the number of materials disseminated, social media impressions, number of PSAs aired, and a number of people reached through community training. This information is critical in recruiting and retaining community partners. This information will also help you to determine if the strategies you are employing are making an impact in your community.
Strategy 4 Materials

To begin implementing this strategy, simply select files that you are interested in implementing and click the Download button. If you or your community group would like additional guidance in using this or any of the strategies, complete the request a training form below.

Commonly Asked Questions

People are talking about Opioids all the time now. Is there still a need for increasing public awareness?

YES. There is a great deal of information available about opioids, but information that is detailed, targeted, correct, and fights stigma are still very much needed. This epidemic took years to create, and it will take time and consistent effort to end its devastating impact. Also, opioid medications are not the only prescription medications that have a potential for misuse and abuse, or a potential to lead to substance use disorder. Public awareness should include information that all controlled substances should be taken with caution, as prescribed, and closely monitored, and that misuse or abuse often leads to a need for competent treatment. For a list of DEA controlled substances, visit

What population is the most vulnerable to the opioid epidemic?

Almost everyone is touched by this issue somehow, whether it’s a family member or friend. Anyone can become addicted or die from taking opioids. You can find information about specific “hotspot” areas, specific age groups, etc. at However, it is most important to remember that every community is impacted by this epidemic, and awareness needs to reach all populations. If someone is using opioids outside their prescription or dosage, they can risk overdosing. Try to identify prescription drug abuse as soon as possible. Anyone can access the online prevention, treatment, and recovery locator on this page.

How can I be trained to provide Rx 360 for my community?

 Complete the training request (below). 

 Are there marketing materials available through the state for coalitions to utilize?

Yes.  There are several PSA’s included below.  Coalitions may freely use any of the materials found on this site to increase public awareness of the problem of rx misuse and abuse, along with the solutions.


Training Resources

RethinkRxAbuse Videos

PSA: Rethink RX Abuse 03/01/2017

PSA: What's an Opioid? 10/02/2017

PSA: Naloxone 10/02/2017

PSA: Actor Portrayal 10/02/2017

PSA: Personal Testimony 10/02/2017

PSA: Crazy Accidents 10/02/2017

PSA: Personal Testimony 10/02/2017

Strategy 4 Training Videos

Working with Law Enforcement 12/21/2016

RX Toolkit Community Spokesperson 12/21/2016

Public Service Announcements 03/22/2018

E-mail and Social Media 03/22/2018

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