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Understanding the U.S. Opioid Crisis

UNDERSTANDING THE U.S. Opioid CRISIS Today, news stories about the opioid epidemic and the fallout of opioid addiction and overdoses are everywhere, and some may hit too close to home. This widespread problem is a national public health emergency. But the good news is that multiple strategies are being adopted to help reduce the number of opioid overdoses. Here's what you need to know. The Impact of Opioids Opioids are drugs that doctors prescribe to relieve pain. Prescription opioids include morphine, methadone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and fentanyl. Illegal opioids include the street drug heroin. Drug misuse causes 2.5 million emergency room Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. Every day, 125 people in the U.S. die from overdoses visits per year. More than half of these visits are related to 259 million opioid prescription drugs. involving opioids. prescriptions were written in 2012. That's enough for every American adult to have their own bottle of pills! Women over 45 years old Every 25 minutes, a baby is born in the U.S. suffering from opioid and men under 45 have higher rates of opioid withdrawal. addiction. Working to Solve the Opioid Crisis Because the opioid epidemic is so widespread, it will take everyone working together to stop it. It's important that the federal and state governments, medical professionals, health insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, first responders, and members of the public – including you! - all come together to work on the problem. Here are some positive developments: Opioid prescriptions peaked in 2010 and have dropped 18 The Centers for Disease States have Health insurance Control and Prevention cracked down on companies now cover issued new guidelines for how many pills medication-assisted percent since then. Prescriptions for the riskiest opioids have fallen 41 percent. prescribers in 2016 to reduce opioid doctors can treatment programs for prescribe at a addiction. Research has prescribing, especially for time. shown that these programs chronic conditions. are safe and effective. Opioid Prevention HELP PROTECT YOURSELF If you have to take opioids, take the smallest possible dose for the shortest possible time. Dispose of any leftover opioids right away using a local drug take-back Talk to your doctor about other methods of pain relief first, including physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga and non-opioid program. Your pharmacy can tell you how to safely get rid of any medication you don't need. medications. Educate yourself on your prescription. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions exactly as directed. Call your pharmacy right away with any questions about taking your prescription safely. If you think you or a loved one may be dependent on opioids, go to the National Institute of Drug Abuse ( for support and treatment resources. Anthem. BlueCross Sources: Anthem's Commitment to Address the Prescription Opioid Epidemic and Substance Use Disorders. Anthem PDF. The Health of America Report. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, 2017. cas-opioid-epidemic-and-its-effect-on-the-nations-commercially-insured#1 Opioid Painkiller Prescribing. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014. Opioid Prescribing: Where You Live Matters. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2017. What to Do If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs. National Institute for Drug Abuse. 2016. https://www.drug- O 00 O 00

Understanding the U.S. Opioid Crisis

shared by Mbtassino on Aug 15
Today, news stories about the opioid epidemic and the fallout of opioid addiction and overdoses are everywhere, and some may hit too close to home.


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