The Oregon Alliance Working for Antibiotic Resistance Education (AWARE) is a coalition whose mission is to encourage the appropriate use of antibiotics and aims to reduce the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Oregon.
The coalition’s goals are to:
- Raise public awareness about the importance of using antibiotics wisely.
- Encourage Oregon’s physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners to appropriately prescribe antibiotics.
- Enlist the aid of community-based organizations to reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics and promote self-care for viral illnesses.
Key messages to the general public are:
- Never use antibiotics for viral infections like colds or flu, because antibiotics have no effect against viruses, and that this type of use can cause serious side effects.
- Taking antibiotics when they’re not necessary puts members of the community at risk for developing resistant infections.
- If a doctor prescribes an antibiotic, then the patient should finish the prescription even if their symptoms have lessened or disappeared.
- Never share antibiotics, take leftover antibiotics or use them without a prescription.
Key messages to health care providers are:
- Research shows that adverse health outcomes are rare when providers are conservative in their prescribing of antibiotics.
- Patient satisfaction increases due to health care providers’ commitment to educating patients about self-care and symptom management. And, that patient satisfaction does not increase by fulfilling a patient’s or parent’s expectation or receiving an antibiotics prescription.
AWARE program is part of the Acute and Communicable Disease Prevention Program (ACDP) in the Oregon Public Health Division.
Many of our activities are directed and funded by grants from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that receives regular progress reports.
Oregon AWARE is pleased to have many significant community partners who have committed to participate in this directive. If you or your organization is interested in working with others to increase our community's knowledge of appropriate antibiotic use, then contact us or join AWARE.