Let's Talk About Pain Medicines
America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic and Wisconsin is no exception. In 2017, 883 people died in our state alone from opioid overdoses. That is more than the number of people killed in car crashes. Prescription pain medicines can be just as addictive as heroin and the epidemic is affecting people of all races, ages and gender. Most kids who use heroin started using opioid medicines they found at home.
Wisconsin Health Literacy (WHL) seeks to be part of the solution. WHL developed a project called, “Let’s Talk About Pain Medicines” which involves a one-hour interactive workshop to help adults throughout Wisconsin learn how to more safely and effectively use prescription pain medicines.
WHL is partnering with community organizations across the state to deliver workshops on the following topics:
- The differences between prescription opioids and other pain medicines
- Safe storage of opioid pain medicine to help prevent others from finding and using them
- What to do with unused opioid pain medicines (i.e.: where and how to get rid of them when no longer needed so they are out of the home)
- Understanding of label directions (when and how long to take the medicine)
- Special instructions on warning labels
- Illegality of using others’ medications
- When to call the pharmacist or provider
Each participant will receive an easy-to-understand lesson booklet, provided in English and Spanish. In addition, 4 multilingual printable fact sheets are also available for participants and will be widely distributed on the following topics:
- How are prescription opioids and other pain medicines different?
- What can go wrong when you use opioid medicine?
- Don’t let people take your opioid medicine
- Get rid of unused medicines
The project is supported with generous funding from Security Health Plan, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Minority Health Program and Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation.
Health Literacy Summit
Over 350 people attended the 2017 Wisconsin Health Literacy Summit, which focused on how improved health literacy can help individuals become more engaged with their health and healthcare.
An additional 80 individuals attended the Medication Label Summit centering on how improving prescription drug labels can help patient understanding. Visit our Summit page for more information.
Wisconsin Health Literacy is working with a patient advisory council to design easy-to-read medication labels. Our work has impacted about 3 million prescription labels in Wisconsin. Read more about this project.