CDC Produces New Tools to Help Fight Opioid Epidemic

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, fewer 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 suffer from opioid addiction, contact our New Jersey drug detox center.

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