New Campaign Aims to Raise Awareness on Opioid Dependence

August 31, 2019, 10:47 AM HST · Updated August 31, 10:47 AM
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The Hawaiʻi Opioid Initiative has a new online questionnaire to help adults determine their risk for opioid dependence, the state Department of Health announced on Monday. 

Opioid “dependence,” as the department explained in a press release, refers to “physical responses to substances such as increased tolerance and withdrawal.” 

“Although dependence does not necessarily constitute addiction, it can often accompany addiction.”

According to the department, the survey was designed to provide useful, preventative information. 

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“Many people don’t know that if you have been taking prescription opioid or narcotic pain medication for more than one week, you could be at risk for opioid dependence and not even know it,” health director Bruce Anderson said in the release. 

“Learning about the risk and about alternative treatment options is the first step to keeping you and your family safe.” 

After taking the test, participants are referred to online resources based on their score. The resources include information on safer pain treatment alternatives, how to prevent an overdose, and treatment options in Hawaiʻi. 

Participants can also receive their responses through email to share with a healthcare professional. Responses will be kept confidential. 

Last year, approximately 650,000 prescriptions for opioid or narcotic pain medication were dispensed in Hawai‘i. 

Advertisements for the campaign will air on television and digital platforms through Nov. 24. 

Click here for more information.

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