Every day, more than 130 people in the US, die after overdosing on opioids The serious addiction to, and misuse of opioids, including: heroin, prescribed pain relievers, as well as fentanyl and other synthetic opioids, is is a clear and present national crisis which is having a drastic knock-on effect to public health, as well as economic and social welfare. About 80 percent of people who use heroin first misused prescription opioids
The Extensive Costs of this Pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [state that] the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse in the US is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement”.Opioid overdoses increased 30% from July 2016 through September 2017 in 52 areas in 45 states
But What Caused this Catastrophe?
Over 47,000 people lost their lives in 2017 alone. This was due to heroin and prescription opioids, as well as fentanyl – the illicitly manufactured and highly potent synthetic opioid. Further, during the same 12 months, approximately 1.7 million Americans experienced various substance use disorders associated with opioid pain relievers given to them via prescription. Moreover, 652,000 individuals endured a disorder related heroin. This was despite the US pharmaceutical giants giving steadfast assurances to the general public and medics, back in the late 1990s, when they stated that opioids were not addictive.
More About How NACDS Can Help
The President and CEO of NACDS (The National Association of Chain Drug Stores), Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE, gave a statement in relation to their pharmacies’ pledge to work to help find a solution to the country’s opioid abuse. This was issued shortly after data from ARCOS (the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Automated Reports and Consolidated Ordering System), was released.
He stated: “Every day, pharmacists face a moment of truth when presented with an opioid prescription, making decisions as a provider of patient care and as part of the solution to the opioid-abuse epidemic. Patients understand that community pharmacy is part of the solution, providing trusted advice and quality healthcare services”.
Certainly, as Anderson remarks, pharmacies should have an ongoing and long-standing commitment to help provide a solution. This should include: philanthropic programs; stopping illegal rogue clinics and online drug-sellers, so they are permanently put out of business; fostering access to naloxone; suggesting security initiatives; and providing patient education and compliance programs.
Further, Anderson concluded by saying: “NACDS also advances policy recommendations for opioid abuse prevention. NACDS’ recommendations relate to electronic prescribing, drug disposal, supply limits for a patient’s first prescription to treat temporary pain, prescription drug monitoring plans, health plan design, and pain management”. All extremely important initiatives which should have been enforced across the board long ago.