How Do You Start a National Conversation About an Underpublicized Epidemic?

Sep 28, 2012

This week, Blue State Digital helped The Partnership at Drugfree.org launch the Medicine Abuse Project, a multi-year national campaign to prevent half a million teens from abusing prescription drugs over the next five years.

More Americans now die from drug overdoses than in car crashes. That's one death from a drug overdose every 19 minutes. And the main culprit is prescription painkillers.

This week, Blue State Digital helped The Partnership at Drugfree.org launch the Medicine Abuse Project, a multi-year national campaign to prevent half a million teens from abusing prescription drugs over the next five years. BSD's role was to create an online platform that would unite parents, educators, healthcare providers, law enforcement officials, and others to take a stand on this life-and-death issue. Site visitors are asked to take a pledge to help end medicine abuse, among other calls to action.

To get people talking during the launch this week, the Partnership is holding events ranging from webinars and Facebook chats to a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, for which everyone is encouraged to "drop off unwanted or expired medicines at thousands of take-back locations, getting them out of your home (and out of your children’s reach)." There's even a giant orange bottle in Grand Central Station, alongside a specially designed iPad version of the pledge for commuters to sign:

Medicine Abuse Project

The website directs visitors to take the pledge, learn how to safeguard medicines, and read stories from those personally touched by the epidemic. There are resources for educators, screeners for physicians, and tips for parents to get conversations started. To improve the user experience on smartphones and other devices, BSD has optimized the site for mobile using responsive design techniques, which means that the site automatically adapts its display to the user's screen size — crucial functionality in our increasingly mobile-oriented world.

This week marks the start of an uphill battle to turn the tide on prescription drug abuse. By moving those who sign the pledge up a ladder of engagement, BSD is helping mobilize supporters to speak out and break the silence around medicine abuse.