Prevention of Heroin Use

RX prescription form on a desk with stethoscope, pills and pen

RX prescription form on a desk with stethoscope, pills and pen

Using the Public Health Model for Drug Use, there are three levels:  Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary.  At the primary level, efforts are focused on helping people  make good behavior choices about the use of  alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and creating policies/procedures that prevent or mitigate the consequences of wrong behavioral choices.

For heroin use, that means several important focus areas:

  • educating the public about the dangers of heroin use, prevalence in the community, and about addiction in general – as a disease that requires treatment
  • educating and engaging youth in theory-driven prevention programs that promote good behavioral choices
  • limiting access to prescription opiates in private dwellings.  Examples:
    • increasing knowledge about the dangers of prescription opiates in private dwellings and how to dispose of them when they are no longer needed for pain
    • creating accessible drop box locations for the proper disposal of prescription opiates and other drugs
  • controlling the mismanagement of prescription opiates through medical practice
    • the use of electronic databases to track the distribution of drugs in medical and pharmaceutical practice
    • educating physicians on alternative methods for pain management when possible