Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute

Preventing Youth Opioid Use — National Injury Prevention Day, Nov. 18, 2021

Press release from The Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center (HIPRC):

Every day, 20 children in the United States die from preventable injuries, which are the leading cause of death and disability among Americans ages 1 to 18. 

On Thursday, Nov. 18, hospitals and trauma centers across the nation will mark National Injury Prevention Day, displaying green lighting to “shine a light” on opportunities to prevent serious childhood injury. 

This year, The Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center (HIPRC) and UW Medicine’s Addictions, Drug, & Alcohol Institute (ADAI) are sharing a new digital toolkit on teen opioid-use prevention. The toolkit includes videos and information for teens and parents, and a section dedicated to how parents can initiate a conversation with their kids about opioid use. Collaborators include Safe Kids Seattle South King in partnership with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. 

“It’s a very real concern in King County, Washington. One person a day (in 2021) is dying from a fentanyl overdose,” said Caleb Banta-Green, principal research scientist at ADAI. “It’s stunning. We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

In 2020, he said, 18 local youths under age 18 died of an opioid overdose.

“As a parent, make sure young adults understand that if you did not get that pill from a pharmacy, it is 99% likely to be fentanyl. You can’t tell if drugs contain fentanyl by look, taste, smell, or touch,” Banta-Green said.

Check out Dr. Banta-Green talking about opioid overdose prevention in this video for NIPD:

To observe National Injury Prevention Day, share via Twitter with the hashtags #BeInjuryFree or #NationalInjuryDayHIPRC. Tag @HIPRC and show how you’ve gone green with light.