Innovations To Address Opioid Use Disorder Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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 the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 1.8 million American adults had an opioid use disorder related to prescription pain relievers in 2013. During the same year, more than 16,000 individuals died as a result of prescription opioid overdose. Health care organizations, community-based agencies, and other stakeholders are implementing innovative policies and strategies to address this major public health problem.
 
The featured Innovations describe four programs aimed at reducing opioid misuse and associated health and safety consequences. The initiatives include an opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution program targeting high-risk communities, 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 a program to promote appropriate prescribing and monitoring of opioid therapy for patients with chronic pain not caused by cancer.
 
The featured QualityTools include a toolkit with resources for first responders, prescribers, patients, family members, and those who are recovering from opioid overdose; guidelines to help clinicians make treatment decisions for patients who may be abusing opioids; a manual on the development of overdose prevention programs; and a guide that supports implementation of overdose prevention and response strategies.
 

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