A new federal grant will fund a statewide media campaign to educate teenagers and young adults about the dangers of misusing prescription opioids.
Janet Nelson at the Iowa Department of Public Health says the campaign will work to fill gaps in knowledge about prescription drugs.
"Youth, a lot of times, feel that if a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it can't be harmful," Nelson says.
The grant will also help three counties—Polk, Jasper and Scott—develop additional strategies to reduce problems with prescription opioid abuse.
"We’re targeting community members, and hospitals and health care providers—especially prescribers—to help reduce the amount of opioids that are getting prescribed," Nelson says. "It’s a community effort."
Those three counties were chosen based on rates of opioid-related deaths, hospitalizations, treatment admissions, and Iowa Youth Survey results on misuse of prescription drugs.
The grant is another step in the growing effort to stop the opioid crisis in Iowa.