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HealthPartners public awareness campaign aims to reduce opioid use among young adults

‘Cut Short’ campaign also encourages people to safely dispose of unused medications


September 2, 2019

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — A new public awareness campaign sponsored by HealthPartners highlights the dangers of opioids, especially among young adults and the importance of safely disposing of unused prescriptions. The campaign runs throughout September, which is the 30th anniversary of National Recovery Month. National Recovery Month aims to increase awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.

In recent years, medical groups across the Midwest have made concerted efforts to reduce the number of opioids that are prescribed for medical conditions. And in 2018, opioid deaths decreased in Minnesota for the first time in a decade. HealthPartners medical and dental clinics alone have decreased the number of pills prescribed by 50 percent (7.7 million) between 2016 and 2019.

Yet, the misuse of opioids among young people remains a significant problem. One in seven young adults ages 18-25 misuse prescription drugs according to the National Institutes of Health.

“The problem we're seeing with opioids is, the unused pills are sitting in people’s cupboards and they're ending up in the wrong hands,” said Dr. Bret Haake, Chief Medical Officer for Regions Hospital. “Nearly 60 percent of adolescents and young adults who misused prescription drugs said they got them from a friend or relative. That’s why it’s important for people to safely dispose of opioids.”

The public awareness campaign, called ‘Cut Short’, reflects that one in five deaths of young people are opioid related. Their lives and life stories were cut short by misuse of opioids.

The Cut Short campaign aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the risks of addiction among young adults ages 16-28
  • Educate parents, grandparents and the community of opioid issues
  • Encourage people to safely dispose of all unused medications at a take-back site

The campaign includes blog posts with personal stories about opioid addiction, ads on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Spotify, Pandora and in college newspapers and high school sports programs. HealthPartners has take-back sites at 25 locations in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Find one here:

About HealthPartners

HealthPartners is the largest consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization in the nation. The company’s mission is to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. For more information, visit

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