“Effectively addressing opioid drug use and misuse: Identifying the crisis and risk communications challenges and opportunities.”

Abstract: The epidemic of opioid drug use and misuse in the United States and in many other continues unabated.  Communicating to healthcare practitioners, the public, news media, and those legally and illegally using opioids is unusually complex due to the multiple factors and varying use situations that have contributed to the current epidemic. To date, however, it does not appear a concerted effort has identified the crisis or risk communication challenges and opportunities that exist when it comes to opioids. As such, this project will use a literature search (including grey literature involving communication research) and expert interviews to identify the major crisis and risk communication challenges and opportunities involving opioid misuse. It will develop a framework that systematically organizes them and helps identify potentially effective communication practices and needed next steps based on what is known from communication research and efforts to date.