As part of the National Governors Association’s (NGA) ongoing effort to help states reduce prescription drug abuse, findings from the Prescription Drug Abuse Reduction Policy Academy were the focus of the Health and Human Services Committee session at NGA’s 2014 Winter Meeting.

During the Winter Meeting session, “Battling an Epidemic: State Efforts to Combat Prescription Drug Abuse,” governors released an issue brief detailing lessons learned from the policy academy. Findings from Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse: Lessons Learned from an NGA Policy Academy include:

  • Leadership matters;
  • Prescribing behavior needs to change;
  • Disposal options should be convenient and cost-effective;
  • Prescription drug monitoring programs are underused;
  • Public education is critical;
  • Treatment is essential; and
  • Data, metrics and evaluation must drive policy and practice.

For more information about the Prescription Drug Abuse Project, visit