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Lessons From Suicide Prevention Campaigns: Considerations for Opioid Messaging

  • Elizabeth Karras
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Elizabeth Karras, PhD, Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, 400 Fort Hill Avenue, Canandaigua NY 14424
    Affiliations
    Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua, New York

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

    Injury Control Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • Sara C. Warfield
    Affiliations
    Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua, New York

    Injury Control Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

    Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • Cara M. Stokes
    Affiliations
    Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua, New York

    Injury Control Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

    Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
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  • Robert M. Bossarte
    Affiliations
    Center of Excellence for Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs, Canandaigua, New York

    Injury Control Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

    Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia

    Department of Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry, School of Medicine, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia
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      Opioids are the contributing factor to increases in fatal overdoses in the U.S. and claimed more than 33,000 American lives in 2015.
      • Rudd R.A.
      • Seth P.
      • David F.
      • Scholl L.
      Increases in drug and opioid-involved overdose deaths—United States, 2010–2015.
      Identifying effective public health approaches to reduce opioid-related morbidity and mortality is an urgent priority. Public messaging is one such intervention that can be used to help by shifting individual factors (e.g., attitudes and beliefs) associated with an increased likelihood of behavior change and supporting the development of larger social environments (e.g., promote community connectedness) that validate and motivate targeted behaviors. To date, several studies
      • Allara E.
      • Ferri M.
      • Bo A.
      • Gasparrini A.
      • Faggiano F.
      Are mass-media campaigns effective in preventing drug use? A Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis.
      have evaluated anti-drug campaigns in the U.S.; however, findings of their efficacy were mixed and underscore the need for additional exploration of public messaging prior to its use for opioid-related outcomes.
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