In 2014, more than 28,000 people in the U.S. died from an opioid overdose. That same year, more Americans died from drug overdoses than during any other year on record, with the escalating numbers fueled by opioid abuse. Solutions to the problem are as complex as the epidemic itself, however a recent study pointed to one tool that can make a significant difference: prescription drug monitoring programs.
A Q&A with public health leaders on the opioid epidemic: ‘Prescription opioid abuse is still raging out of control’
While pharmaceutical companies are making billions in painkiller profits, it’s the public sector that ends up bearing the burden and cost of the fallout that accompanies skyrocketing sales of highly addictive prescription opioids. After the jump is a Pump Handle Q&A with two public health officials at the forefront of the opioid abuse epidemic within America’s big cities.
When it comes to substance abuse disorders, public health and the public at-large are hardly on the same page — in fact, they’re not even reading the same book. And that’s a serious problem for sustaining and strengthening efforts to treat addiction and advancing effective public health policy.
Worth reading: West Virginia chemical release, antibiotics in agriculture, and using statistics to tackle substance abuse
Reporters and bloggers delve into the chemical release that tainted tap water for thousands of West Virginians; the problem of antibiotic overuse by livestock producers, and what to do about it; how one statistician is working to advance effective treatments for substance abuse; and more.
Strategies to reduce the deathly toll of prescription drug abuse are reaping positive outcomes, though not every state is taking full advantage, according to a new report from Trust for America's Health.
When it comes to nonviolent drug offenses, systems that favor treatment over incarceration not only produce better health outcomes, they save money, too. It's yet another example of how investing in public health and prevention yields valuable returns on investment.