Effects of Prescription Drug Overdose on Teen Health
Discussion of the health issue selected, identification and rationale for your target audience (who will you present this information to that can utilize this data/information to assist with your public health issue). This can be your local health department, public health program, emergency and disaster management, community leaders, hospital, etc.
- Rationale for target population selected
- Overview of the impact health issue is having (has had) on target population (summary of statistics and epidemiological data)
We would need pictures, graphs or tables to support the information
Discussion of the health issue selected
Prescription drug overdose among teenagers is a growing major concern. It is estimated that 1 in 7 seven teens taking prescription drugs end up abusing them for reasons other than the recommended ones. It is estimated that approximately 40 people die every day across the US due to an overdose of a prescription drug. Different factors drive prescription drug overdose among teenagers. From some of the studies previously conducted, teens who reported having abused or misused prescription drugs identified issues such as using the drugs to get high, lose weight, fit in various peer groups and study better (American public health association, 2022). Overdosing of prescription drugs is associated with poor health outcomes such as over-dependence on drugs and can lead to the use of other illicit drugs and behavioral problems such as anxiety and insomnia. It can also lead to physiologic issues such as irregular heartbeats, decreased blood pressure, and respiratory rate. Overdosing also leads to deaths, which is shown as indicated in the graph. This population is usually at a higher risk of using other illicit drugs, and therefore it is important to curb prescription drug overdosing, which can initiate teenagers into using other illicit drugs (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2022).
Target Audience and Rationale
The target audience for this message would include hospitals and local healthcare departments. Prescription drugs are normally given out with authorization from physicians and other qualified healthcare providers. Therefore, it would be important to present this information to them to increase their awareness about the misuse of the prescribed drugs by teenagers and require them to develop strategies that will prevent overdosing. For example, care providers can limit the amount prescribed at one session and require the patient to collect the drug in phases. Also, they can design patient education to dispel misinformation that prescribed drugs can be used to reduce weight and improve learning/studying (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2022).
American public health association, (2022) Prescription Drug Overdose Retrieved from: https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/prescription-drug-overdose
Center for disease control and prevention, (2022) Opioid Data Analysis and Resources Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/data/analysis-resources.html
National Institute on Drug Abuse, (2022) Prescription Drugs; What are prescription drugs? Retrieved from: https://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-drugs#topic-3