Addressing Opioid Misuse

Addressing Opioid Misuse Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Prescribing of opioid analgesics has increased substantially in recent years, as have the consequences associated with opioid misuse: emergency department (ED) visits, treatment admissions, and overdose-related fatalities. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, unintended deaths caused by prescription opioid overdoses are a leading cause of death by injury in the United States. Health care organizations, community-based agencies, and other stakeholders are implementing innovative policies and strategies to address this major health problem.

The featured Innovations describe three programs aimed at reducing opioid misuse and associated health and safety consequences. The initiatives include a mayoral task force in New York City that developed a series of strategies to combat the problem, an ED that implemented a protocol on the use of controlled substances, and an opioid overdose prevention and education program for potential responders.

The featured QualityTools include a manual on the development of overdose prevention programs, a protocol to help clinicians make treatment decisions for patients who may be abusing opioids, and a guide that supports implementation of overdose prevention and response strategies by potential responders.

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