Friday, December 29, 2017

Declaring An Opioid Emergency

Audio Interview
Interview with Dr. Lainie Rutkow on legal action taken by states to address the opioid-overdose crisis. 
Lainie Rutkow is an associate professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Stephen Morrissey, the interviewer, is the Managing Editor of the Journal. (6:55)

Six U.S. states have declared their opioid-overdose situation an emergency. Though the scope of these declarations has been limited, they could suggest additional responses to multiple facets of the crisis, especially if emergency powers are used in innovative ways.

Emergency Legal Authority and the Opioid Crisis
Lainie Rutkow, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., and Jon S. Vernick, J.D., M.P.H.
N Engl J Med 2017; 377:2512-2514
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1710862

Opioid-overdose deaths in the United States have steadily increased for the past 15 years, with more than 33,000 such deaths reported in 2015.1 The epidemic is unfolding on two fronts: use of prescription opioid pain relievers (OPRs) accounts for approximately half of opioid-overdose deaths, and deaths from heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, obtained illicitly, have increased dramatically during the past 5 years.

In the face of this public health crisis, various policies have been enacted — particularly at the state level — often to address OPR prescribing and limit opportunities for OPR diversion. For example, all 50 states have established prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) that collect information about individuals’ prescription-drug history in an electronic database. Eleven states have laws regulating pain-management clinics,2 and several states have enacted laws to limit the dosage or duration of OPR prescriptions.

Continue reading:

The State of the Opioid Crisis Ahead of 2018
By Casey Leins, Staff Writer | Dec. 28, 2017
As officials plan how to address the epidemic in 2018, here is where it stands at the end of the year.
The nation's opioid crisis reached new proportions in 2017, with provisional data revealing that there were 17 percent more deaths from drug overdoses between May 2016 and May 2017, compared to the previous year.

Though the epidemic has grown over the past few years, it reached new heights this year, forcing federal and state governments to take immediate action. In October, President Donald Trump declared a public health emergency over the crisis. Earlier in 2017, the governors of Alaska, Arizona, Florida and Maryland issued a public health emergency. Massachusetts was the first state to declare the epidemic an emergency in 2014, followed by Virginia in 2016.

Continue reading:

No comments:

Post a Comment