NNLM Reading Club: Substance Misuse
Several National Health Observances (NHOs) throughout the year remind us to talk about substance misuse and addiction disorders. However, any day, week, or month is an opportunity to increase public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or substance use disorders.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recognizes one week each year as National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW), a health observance linking teens to science-based facts to SHATTER THE MYTHS® about drugs.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors National Prevention Week in May.
In September, National Recovery Month celebrates the people who have recovered and encourages others.
Use MedlinePlus to find information on substances that may be misused, including these examples:
Find Opioid Misuse and Addiction information in multiple languages.
Download, print, and share.
- Alcohol Use and Your Health
- Supporting a Loved One Dealing with Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders
- Talking to Kids About Alcohol and Other Drugs: 5 Conversation Goals
People Recover (36 pages PDF)
Treatment and Recovery
FindTreatment.gov is a substance use online locator that has information on thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness.
In April and October every year, the U.S. Department of Justice reminds us to dispose properly of all unused prescriptions on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day To locate a drop-off site, Google Maps has an enhanced feature to help you. Here's how to use it:
- On a computer, phone, or another device, visit google.com/maps.
- Type "drug disposal near me" in the search bar.
The tool will show nearby government, health care facility, and pharmacy drop-off locations. To learn more, visit New Maps Feature Makes Drug Disposal Easier and Safer.
Use the Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) program toolkit to find ideas and download and share the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Fact Sheet PDF
Strengthen your social media presence and help spread the word. Embed the Drugs of Abuse videos by Learn.Genetics, which cover a range of substances including cocaine, meth, and nicotine, or this video from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Hepatitis C is a virus that damages the liver. It usually is spread when blood from a person infected with the hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with the hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to prepare or inject drugs. Because opioid and drug misuse has profound economic and health consequences on Americans, including a marked increase in acute hepatitis C infections, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges Hepatitis Awareness Month every year in May with their campaign, Know More Hepatitis.
- Use the CDC's Opioid and Health Indicators Database to find counties most at risk of an HIV or a hepatitis C outbreak to help raise awareness of hepatitis testing in your community.
- Share a fact sheet, Hepatitis C: General Information or the Comic EPub, Take Action Against Hepatitis C (28 pages PDF).
Library Skills Training
The following opportunities can help you learn more.
- National Drug and Alcohol IQ Challenge Take the quiz
- Understanding the Opioid Crisis: Where Do I Begin? (Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM), August 19, 2019) An estimated 1.9 million people in the U.S. have a prescription opioid use disorder, while another 586,000 have a heroin use disorder. This recording will help you to understand what addiction and opioids are and where you can find authoritative information to understand this complex epidemic. You also will learn how to discuss many of these resources and explore ideas for their use in community outreach education and programs in your library or organization. This 1 hour, online training is appropriate for anyone providing health information to the general public including public and medical librarians, patient or community educators and healthcare professionals.
- Pathways to Safer Opioid Use is an interactive training that promotes the appropriate, safe, and effective use of opioids to manage chronic pain. Pathways begins with a 7-minute video that provides background on the principles of health literacy, patient communication, and opioid-related ADEs that are addressed in the training. Pathways takes about an hour to complete.
There's an NIH for that
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) advances research in addiction science and plays a major role in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Initiative, launched in April 2018 to provide scientific solutions to the national opioid overdose crisis, including improved treatment strategies for pain as well as opioid use disorders (OUDs). This initiative, funded by Congress, brings new hope for people, families, and communities affected by this devastating crisis. Learn more about the NIH HEAL InitiativeSM
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism advances research on drinking and alcohol's impact on health.
- National Institute of Mental Illness researches and transforms the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses including drug, alcohol, or tobacco addiction.