MAG Foundation 'Think About It' Campaign
The Medical Association of Georgia and the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation have been leaders in addressing the prescription drug epidemic since 2011. One of the MAG Foundation’s marquee programs is the ‘Think About It’ campaign to reverse and prevent opioid misuse and addiction in the state. The MAG Foundation has…
- Funded 20 prescription drug disposal boxes, which allows Georgians to dispose of their unneeded or expired prescription drugs in a safe, anonymous and secure manner.
- Distributed more than one million educational leaflets at pharmacies, hospitals and medical practices.
- Given presentations at more than 70 town halls and 45 physician education events.
- Funded prescription drug disposal boxes and established social media and other educational campaigns on 7 college campuses as part of its ‘Higher Education TAKE-BACK Initiative.’
With the support of the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Foundation, the MAG Foundation managed ‘Project DAN’ (Deaths Avoided by Naloxone) – which has funded more than 5,000 doses of naloxone for first responders in 52 counties in the state, saving at least 62 lives.
MAG is addressing prescription drug abuse by encouraging physicians to register with Georgia’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and reminding physicians to complete a new three-hour CME requirement for opioid prescribers. MAG has also been a leading advocate for PDMP funding for several years.
MAG has addressed prescription drug abuse on its ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on three occasions, including shows on ‘Opioid Abuse’ and ‘Naloxone and Georgia’s 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law’ in 2016 and the MAG Foundation’s ‘Think About It’ campaign in 2014. Go to the “Resources” tab on MAG’s mag.org website to listen recordings of these and other MAG ‘Top Docs Radio’ shows.
Representatives of some of the state’s leading stakeholders serve on the ‘Think About It’ campaign’s Advisory Committee, including the Georgia Dental Association, Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, Georgia Association of Addiction Medicine, United Healthcare, Georgia Pharmacy Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, community advocates, and others.
The ‘Think About It’ campaign received a grant from the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drugs to promote the PDMP and the aforementioned CME requirement for opioid prescribers with physicians in the state.
The ‘Think About It’ campaign sponsors Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr’s statewide ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ contest, which recognizes high school and college students who create audio and video messages that highlight the dangers associated with prescription drug abuse.
‘Think About It’ Clinical Co-Chair P. Tennent Slack, M.D., ‘Think About It’ Community Co-Chair Dallas Gay, and MAG Foundation President Jack M. Chapman Jr., M.D., were honored with the Hall County Community Service Award in 2014.
MAG Executive Director and CEO Donald J. Palmisano Jr. completed a 100-mile trail run to raise more than $40,000 for the ‘Think About It’ campaign in 2015.
The ‘Think About It’ campaign has representatives serving on key stakeholder groups, including the Alliant Quality Medical Medication Workgroup, the Injury Prevention Research Center – Emory University of Medicine Safety Task Force, the Georgia Attorney General’s Opioid Task Force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District Heroin Working Group, and the Georgia Prevention Project.
MAG supports the American Medical Association’s (AMA) efforts to “call on physicians to re-examine their prescribing practices to help reverse the epidemic” – keeping in mind that while “much more work remains to reverse the nation's opioid epidemic,” AMA reports that…
- Every state in the nation saw a reduction in opioid prescribing in 2015 – an overall 10.6 percent decrease nationally.
- From 2012 to 2016 there has been an 81 percent increase in physicians certified to treat substance use disorders – more than 33,000 across all 50 states.
- According to the CDC, 15 states saw reductions in the numbers of people dying in 2014 compared to 2013 due to drug overdoses.
- AMA research based on responses from more than 40 states found that state-based PDMP were checked nearly 85 million times in 2015—a 40 percent increase over 2014. Increases were seen in states with and without mandates to use a PDMP.
- An AMA survey found that nearly 50,000 CME courses that are related to opioid prescribing, pain management, or other related areas have been accessed and/or completed by physicians since October 2015.