September is Pain Awareness Month, and the key to raising awareness is to get involved. Pharmacists have a vital role in ensuring safe and effective pain management, as they are often the first point of contact for patients seeking advice about nonprescription and prescription analgesics.
APhA offers information and resources at its Opioid Use, Abuse and Misuse Resource Center. The Engage section highlights opportunities for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to connect with other health professionals to promote Pain Awareness Month. There you can learn more about the U.S. Surgeon General's latest call to action on opioids and take a pledge to “Turn the Tide” of the opioid epidemic.
In addition, the upcoming September 2016 issue of Pharmacy Today features a Special Pain Section that provides information on helping patients manage acute and chronic pain. In the Innovations cover story in the same issue, two pharmacists describe their efforts in combating the impact of the opioid epidemic in their communities.
The first Pain Awareness Month was held in 2001, when the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) led a coalition of groups to establish September as Pain Awareness Month. ACPA created Partners for Understanding Pain, and 80 organizations, including health professionals and consumer groups, supported the effort.
International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event held on August 31 each year, aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. Overdose Awareness Day spreads the message that the tragedy of overdose death is preventable. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or become permanently injured as a result of drug overdose. Wear silver to show your support.