MONTGOMERY — It is the time of the year for family vacations, spending quality time together swimming, hiking, skiing and boating. However, the perfect day outside can lead to accidents and injuries. That is why Alabama’s physicians and professional community would like to remind our residents to have a Smart & Safe summer.
The Medical Association of the State of Alabama and our multi-industry coalition of 22 partners launched Smart & Safe to encourage the safe use, storage and disposal of prescription medication…specifically prescription pain medication. As you enjoy your summer activities, should accidents arise, remember to discuss all your options for alleviating any pain with your physician.
“Summer is perfect to enjoy time with our families,” said David Herrick, M.D., president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. “What the Medical Association and our partners would like to do with Smart & Safe is to remind our residents to take a little more care of themselves during their activities this summer so that friends and family members don’t find themselves in an emergency room or physician’s office with an injury that requires pain medication.”
The State of Alabama continues to face an epidemic with the abuse of prescription pain medications. Statistics show one-in-four Americans struggle with an addiction to prescription pain medications.
“Our mission with Smart & Safe is to educate our public on the safe use of prescription medications,” Dr. Herrick said. “Recent studies indicate most first-time prescription drug abusers get their drugs from a family member or friend. Our hope is that education through our Smart & Safe program will create enough awareness to save lives.”
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, prescription drug abuse is a significant threat to Alabama’s public health. The number of deaths due to drug overdose, including prescription drugs resulted in the deaths of 762 residents between 2010 and 2014. In 2014, there were 221 deaths due to drug overdoses.
Smart & Safe is Alabama’s only physician-led public awareness campaign sponsored by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama and our partners dedicated to fighting Alabama’s prescription drug abuse epidemic through safe use, storage and disposal of pain medication.