On March 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new
resources to help hospitals combat the growing opioid epidemic. In a 2014
study, the organization found that almost 28,648 individuals lost their
lives because of prescription drugs and heroin. Primary care providers
dispensed approximately 50% of prescription opioids. As such, the CDC
hopes their new tools will help hospitals limit how many painkillers they
prescribe and find alternatives to these opioids.
CDC Director, Tom Frieden, stated,
More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses,
we must act now. Overprescribing opioids—largely for chronic pain—is
a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic. The guideline
will give physicians and patients the information they need to make more
informed decisions about treatment.
The new resources are meant to help educate hospitals and staff members.
The new tools include:
The CDC hopes that with these tools, hospitals and physicians can accurately
determine when opioids are necessary and how high to make the dosage.
With this critical consideration, hopefully less painkillers will be prescribed.
Of the 12 guidelines, the CDC emphasizes the following:
Nonopioid therapy is preferred for chronic pain outside of active cancer,
palliative, and end-of-life care.
When opioids are used, the lowest possible effective dosage should be prescribed
to reduce risks of opioid use disorder and overdose.
Providers should always exercise caution when prescribing opioids and monitor
all patients closely.
At Turning Point, we understand how painful prescription addiction can
be. We strive to help individuals overcome their dependency so that they
can return to a happy, healthy life. If you or a loved one suffers from
opioid addiction, contact our New Jersey drug detox center.