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"Turn to Help" initiative hopes to raise awareness of opioid dependence

September 5, 2012
by Shannon Brys, Associate Editor
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“Could it be opioid dependence?”  That is the question Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals would like people to ask themselves.  With their “Turn to Help” initiative, the goal is to ”increase public awareness of opioid dependence, provide much needed resources to people living with this chronic medical condition and help people connect with appropriate support to treat their dependence,” according to Richard Simkin, U.S. President of Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals.

The campaign was designed to reach the public through many different media including television, radio, print and digital media, as well as their website, TurnToHelp.com.

While raising awareness, the key points the initiative touches on are:

·        What opioids are,

·        How they affect the brain,

·        Risk factors for developing this disease,

·        How dependence can begin,

·        How to recognize signs of opioid dependence,

·        And, the various treatment options available to begin the recovery process.

 

Besides the information on the website, there is also a brief, 10-question screening test to assess risk of opioid dependence and a doctor locator tool that can assist people in finding a local physician who treats and understands opioid dependence. 

 

According to Simkin, “the Turn To Help initiative aims to: 

·        Educate the public:  Opioid dependence is a brain disease that can be managed by using different treatment options and can be treated in the privacy of a doctor’s office;

·        Reduce the stigma and isolation of opioid dependence:  People from all walks of life are affected by this disease;

·        Reinforce that help is available:  Thousands of doctors are prepared to provide care;

·        And, Motivate opioid-dependent individuals:  Encourage individuals to seek information and help through TurnToHelp.com.”

 

Since Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals has also been marketing Suboxone, a question emerged about a tie-in between the medication and this campaign.  Simkin answered that when visitors enter their zip code on the doctor locator, “they are directed to Suboxone.com to see a list of doctors in their area who understand and treat opioid dependence, who are also certified to treat with Suboxone.” 

Simkin added, "There is no single treatment approach that will work for everyone. Traditional rehabilitation facilities and methadone clinics are the most widely recognized treatment approaches for opioid dependence; however, it is less widely known that there are additional medication-assisted treatment options that also may be effective.” 

The website shows visitors that there are a variety of treatment options, including counseling, methadone clinics, 12-step programs and medication-assisted treatments, in the hope of helping them determine the approach that would work best for them.

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